Well, I’ve only gone and done it! Much to my huge astonishment I found on Monday night that I’d won the Best Food Blogger in the Food Awards 2016. Bowled over is an understatement, I was so convinced I wouldn’t win that it didn’t properly register when Tin and Thyme was announced as the winner.
For those not in the know, the Food Reader Awards were initiated by Salt Media and its widely read Food magazine five years ago in order to celebrate good food. Winning is a prestigious accolade for food people in the South West, comprising Gloucester, Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and of course Cornwall. There are thirteen categories in total, including best food blog. The Food Awards occasion itself is an event I’ve long wanted to attend and this year I got my chance.
I wasn’t aware, initially, that I’d been nominated for the award. It wasn’t until Tin and Thyme got through to the Food Awards shortlist that this fact impinged itself on my consciousness. A second round of voting took me through to the finals and I was invited up to Yeo Valley HQ for an evening of fine dining, people watching and the grand unveilings. We started proceedings with a glass (or two) of Knighton Cornish sparkling wine and fabulous canapés from Bioaqua and Homewood. We then sat down to a four course meal, using local produce, matched with local beers and ciders. I was rather taken with the Frobishers Sparkling Ginger, which was nice and fiery and meant I didn’t indulge in more alcohol than was good for me. With well over a hundred guests, there were only seven vegetarians present, but the Yeo Valley chefs did us proud.
No sooner had we finished our starters than the Best Food Blogger 2016 was announced. Tin and Thyme was a finalist along with Veggie Desserts and Eating Exeter. I had been theorising to CT that our table which was the furthest from the stage couldn’t possibly have any winners. How wrong I was.
Off I stumbled up the aisles to the stage, in a complete daze. I remember shaking hands with Jo Rees and Michael Caines MBE, who presented me with my rather fabulous wooden plaque / chopping board. Rest assured no knife will ever be drawn across its surface. I’ve no idea what I said, but CT assures me I didn’t make a complete fool of myself. Michael Caines was himself a winner that night. Needless to say, I didn’t get to reciprocate by presenting him with his chopping board for Best Food Hero. One can but dream.
Cornwall gave a very good account of itself on the night (hooray!) and won best: Food Cafe, Cookery School, Wine List, Farm Shop, Restaurant, Hotel, Foodie Pub and weirdly, food blogger. For the complete list of winners and grand finalists head to the Food Awards.
Here’s to an excellent 2016 for all food lovers and readers of this blog. Thanks to everyone who voted for me and to Salt Media, Yeo Valley and all the sponsors for organising such a splendid event. I may not yet be in the stretch limo jet set, but my rates are very reasonable 😉
Top photo and the one of the dining area courtesy of Food Reader Awards / Guy Harrop Photography