An event celebrating Worcestershire’s first crop of award-winning healthier and locally-sourced food businesses has sought to inspire even more culinary excellence.
Winners of the first year of the county’s Healthier Choices Awards came together with other businesses to share best practice and network with local food suppliers at the Fusion Brasserie in Stoulton last week (Monday October 17).
Droitwich’s Knightsgrove Hand Made Meats and Churchfields Farmhouse Ice Cream, Bow Brook Farm from Pershore, Evesham’s JellyPickleJam, and Beowulf Honey and Luxury Hampers and Gifts Ltd from Worcester all attended on the day to increase local catering networks, some with food samples on hand.
Representatives from Worcestershire Business Central, Visit Worcestershire and Worcestershire County Council’s public health team were also there for the businesses to find out what support is available to them.
And Fusion Brasserie owner Felice Tocchini even demonstrated some of the cooking techniques and use of healthier local ingredients that have seen his restaurant become one of the 19 that have scooped a gold level award so far.
The awards by Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) reward and promote local food businesses, from restaurants to care home caterers, that offer customers a variety of healthier and customisable menu options, with a special gold award for those who also use locally-sourced produce.
WRS Joint Committee Chairman Cllr Bronwen Behan said: “It’s been great to see so many businesses showing customers their healthier, locally sourced credentials by achieving our highest award. We’re looking forward to seeing even more great Worcestershire produce on local menus over the next year.”
Here’s what some of the award winners said on the day:
Mr Runu, owner of Marlpool Diner in Kidderminster, said: “I have seen an improvement in my business through the award scheme. People know that we are achieving a high standard.”
Mr Webley, head chef at Bricklehampton Hall, said: “Our restaurant caters for a wide range of dietary requirements, and seeing here today how this improves residents’ health was really good. I’ve got plenty of information to take back to work.”
Mr Islam, owner of Spennels Tandoori in Kidderminster, said: “We were the first healthier choices food award business in Kidderminster and we have seen an increase in business since it was reported in the media.”
Mr Williams, owner of the Balcony Café in Worcester that was the first ever Healthier Choices Award winner, said: “I’m just glad to have been in with this great idea from the start.”
Only places with the highest five star Food Hygiene Rating can be considered for the awards, which come with a range of additional business benefits such as nutritional analysis of recipes, discounted training and access to networking and information events.
For more information please visit www.worcsregservices.gov.uk/food, or on Facebook it’s www.facebook.com/hcfaward. You can contact the team at Worcestershire Regulatory Services on 01905 822799 or firstname.lastname@example.org.