Lucky thirteen

It seems we just can’t stop winning awards at present! After landing eleven at the ‘Chef’s Choice Awards’ back in March we won no fewer than THIRTEEN at this week’s ‘Cash & Carry Management Awards’, including four highly sought after ‘Best Of The Best’ accolades.

We have not entered these before and so to walk away with so many awards at the first time of asking is a real testament to the hard work of all those involved in the product development process. It was also fantastic to see products developed by Fresh Direct being recognised.

With more than 130 products entered, in more than 20 categories, and by suppliers from across the industry, we can be justly proud of an achievement that reaffirms our status as leaders in food innovation. The ‘Best Of The Best’ winners were:

EGG CATEGORY: Brakes UK Lion Quality Free Range Poached Eggs. The judges were amazed by this product which they said offered great consistency, portion control and versatility.

FISH CATEGORY: M&J Seafood’s Bistro Hand Battered MSC Cod Fillet was described as a lovely piece of white fillet with a light, thin batter that didn’t overshadow the taste of the fish. The judges said it was so nice it could have come from a good chippy.

FORK BUFFET CATEGORY: Brakes Mini Rose Cheesecake. The judges said this product had a good texture, great flavour, just the right amount of sweetness and really let the individual flavours come through. They also said it was a nice size for afternoon tea or a trio of desserts.

ANTIPASTO CATEGORY: Brakes Bread & Butter Pickles, a product of Fresh Direct’s “Fresh Kitchen”. This was described as a cracking product, fresh and premium with real vibrancy. The judges also said the texture and aroma were great and that it had a long finish.

Other winning products on the night were: Gluten Free Stuffing Ball (Best Innovation Of The Year); La Boulangerie 20 " Part Baked French Parisienne Baguette (Boulangerie); Lemon & Tarragon Butter Portions (Butter, Fats and Spreads); Brakes Children's Cottage Pie (Children’s selection); Brakes Smoked Houmous with Harissa Delicatessen); Brakes Hazelnut Tart (Desserts); Brakes 11" Woodfired Spicy Salami & 'Nduja Pizza (Pizza & Pasta); Birchstead British RSPCA Dry Cure Unsmoked Back Bacon (Processed Meats); Brakes Jackfruit Balti (Vegan) (Ready Meals).

The judging panel consisted of Andrew Green, chief executive of the Craft Guild of Chefs – the leading chefs’ association in the UK; Matt Owens, national vice chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs; and Jason Gordon, general manager at Compass Group. The judging was conducted in blind tastings over two days.

Over the next few days we are hoping for further accolades at the Foodservice Footprint awards where we are nominated for the ‘Sustainable Supplier Award’ and the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards where Danny Silcock is nominated in the ‘Development Chef Of The Year’ category.