North Devon Food Award Winners Announced At Record Breaking Foodfest

24th October, 2013
The winners of the prestigious North Devon Food Awards were unveiled on Sunday 20th October at the annual Foodfest event, North Devon’s premier food and drink festival.

Businesses from across the region were named the best, after 1327 online votes were made by locals and holidaymakers throughout the summer.

The Awards, sponsored by Cottage Holidays, celebrate the best food producers and retailers in the area in a number of categories, including Best Local Restaurant, Café and Pub.

Top chef Michael Caines MBE of Gidleigh Park, who presented the winners with their awards said: “I’d like to congratulate the winners of the Food Awards – it’s a real accolade and recognises the rich food culture and quality of food in North Devon.”

“As a champion of local and regional food, it’s brilliant to attend an event which celebrates the diverse range of top quality food producers and retailers in the area. Foodfest has become embedded in the culture of North Devon and I’m thrilled I was able to attend again this year.”

The Foodfest event, now in its sixth year, took place at Barnstaple’s Historic Pannier Market, with chef demonstrations being held in the Queen’s Theatre.  The annual celebration of North Devon’s finest food featured over 90 local food and drink exhibitors, chef demonstrations, tastings and live music.

Organisers North Devon+ say this year’s event was even more popular than in previous years, breaking all records.  Barnstaple Town Centre reported a footfall in excess of 14,000: double the average footfall for October.  Exhibitors and traders in the town reported an increase in sales, with many exhibitors selling out on the day.

Foodfest is just one part of a programme of activities that North Devon+ are involved with to support the local economy - working with partners in the food and drink sector is one element, but they also bring together key partners across the county and beyond with other elements of their work.

Kristy Webbe of North Devon+ said:  “This year’s Foodfest was bigger and better with more producers, more food stalls than ever before: it was a great success and it’s fantastic that so many people supported the event. We’ve seen the festival increase in popularity since it began in 2008.  It supports suppliers, growers and traders, but also promotes our area, helping to create a more productive economy.”

Dane Stanley,  Chairman of BID Barnstaple said: “BID Barnstaple is a keen supporter of North Devon Foodfest as it recognises the value it provides to Barnstaple on many levels.  The event draws large crowds into Barnstaple Town Centre which benefits all of our retailers”

Anthony Johns of Johns of Instow and Appledore said: “Foodfest has been amazing. It’s our first year as sponsor and exhibitor and the festival has been busier and better than ever – We had excellent sales on the day, and has definitely helped to raise the profile of Johns of Instow and Appledore to locals plus we’ve identified lots of new local producers. We look forward to returning to Foodfest in 2014.”

The event would not be possible without the sponsorship of of BID Barnstaple, North Devon Council, The North Devon Fisheries Local Action Group and Johns of Instow and Appledore, or the support of the Barnstaple Pannier Market, The North Devon Journal, North Devon Theatres, Brend Hotels Group, Ashgrove Kitchens and Rangemoors.