Colors: Green Color
Colors: Green Color

22 September is the Autumn Equinox and the first day of England's most gloriously colourful – and some would say delicious – season. As the colours change, the apples turn rosy and the nights draw in, discover unique English activities from cider-making to red deer spotting via mushroom foraging and autumn colour walks.


Autumn is synonymous with abundance and harvest, when so many of England's tastiest produce is in its fullest flavour – and what's more, 17 September to 2 October is British Food Fortnight, so all the more reason to investigate all things edible. York's biggest food and drink festival transforms the city into a foodie wonderland from 23 September – 2 October, with events ranging from a Chocolate Tasting Panel to a Gin Tipple Lunch taking place across various venues including some of the city's most historic buildings including, for the first time, the 17th century King's Manor. 1 October sees the Forest of Dean's Forest Showcase Food Festival, a 'celebration of food, music and art' held in the grounds of the splendid Speech House Hotel; expect top local and artisan producers, a mouth-watering array of hot food, real ale and wine, plus talks, parent and child cookery lessons, chef demos and live music. And celebrate the sausage in Lincolnshire on 22 October, at the Lincoln Sausage Festival, which presents the county's famous export in the castle grounds – 30,000 bangers are served on the day.


Autumn = apples to many people, while for many others apples = cider. Impress your friends with a home-made brew after a visit to Upper Neatham Farm's Practical Cider Making Course. Organised over the course of a weekend at the idyllic Hampshire property – whose orchard has 100 trees of different varieties – the course will teach you to select, prepare and pick apples, press them into juice and then follow the fermentation process to make them that much more delicious; choose from residential or non-residential packages. For a family-friendly celebration of the apple, also in Hampshire, head to Blackmoor Estate's Apple Tasting Day on 8 October. The free event presents the opportunity to taste an incredible variety of apples, meet an 'apple doctor' (to identify mystery apples), as well as enjoy horse and cart rides, Morris dancing and more.


Foraging is all the rage among top chefs and no wonder – discovering your own ingredients in the wild, picking them, then cooking them is far more fulfilling than a trek to the local supermarket. Tudor Farmhouse Hotel is a former working farm that has been stylishly converted into a boutique hotel with a gastronomic edge, thanks to its award-winning head chef Rob Cox and in-house forager Raoul van Den Broucke. Raoul runs fascinating foraging expeditions that take guests out into the beautiful Forest of Dean countryside to collect seasonal delicacies, followed by a sumptuous lunch. Tudor Farmhouse is also offering an Autumn Leaves Escape package – ideal, combined with a foraging course. For those who can't resist the heady smell of a freshly unearthed mushroom, Suffolk Market runs Mushroom Foraging and Wild Cooking events. Each starts with a walk through ancient woodland in the heart of Constable country, continues with plenty of mushroom identifying and picking, and ends with lunchtime treats made from the fruits of your forage. And you get a goody bag full of recipes, a foraging calendar and a selection of wild food products to take home!

The long-awaited shortlist of finalists for the 2017 Food & Drink Devon Awards has been announced, following months of blind tasting, deliberation and judging. Entries from across the county included 250 products, 63 producers, 65 hospitality and 25 retail establishments, all judged by experts from the industry. The winners will be revealed at a prestigious ceremony at the stunning Deer Park Country House Hotel on Monday 9th October.

Commenting on the high standard of this year's awards entries, Barbara King, Chair of Food & Drink Devon, says: “As an organisation we champion Devon's producers and food and drink industry.  We have been seriously impressed with everything entered this year.  We have so much outstanding produce on offer here in Devon and the quality of hospitality across the board is second to none.” Barbara continues: “We would also like to thank our award sponsors for all their support.” The 2017 sponsors are Luscombe Drinks, Raw PR & Marketing, Peplows, M C Kelly, Black & White Asset Finance, Stephens Scown, Zip Water, Tastebuds, Inkreadible and Hedgerow Print.

In celebration of Devon's best produce, Platinum awards will be given to any of the 250 tasted products given a perfect score of 100%, Gold awards go to products achieving 90-99%, and Silver to those scoring 85-89%.

There's enormous variety this year on the producer shortlist for the Taste of Devon Product award, with everything from shellfish to rare breed meats, artisan spirits and craft beers, ice creams from both North and South Devon plus traditional Christmas puddings represented.

“As customers get all the more discerning, choosing provenance and traceability over mass-produced food and drink, our independent shops and businesses can really shine,” continues Barbara. “Ultimately that is why it is so important we all support our local fishermen, farmers, delis, cafés, chefs and artisans.”

Newly established business Pretty Local takes on two well-known businesses Eversfield Organic and Riverford Organic Farmers in the category for Best Online Retailer.  Best Retailer will be awarded to one of Ashburton Delicatessen, Aune Valley Meat or North Devon's Besshill Farm Shop.  Producers on the Best Packaging shortlist are Bell & Loxton, Hanlons Brewery, Hunt's Cider and Salcombe Distilling Co and the shortlist for the Best Overall Producer includes Devon Distillery, Lyme Bay Winery, Salcombe Distilling and Sharpham Wine & Cheese.

Establishments on the Taste of Devon Hospitality shortlist include Boringdon Hall, Old Vienna and Thurlestone Hotel for Best Fine Dining Restaurant. Vying for Best Restaurant status is Barnstaple's Fat Belly Freds, Il Casita in Crediton and the Pig & Pallet in Exeter. Other categories include Best Hotel Restaurant, Pub Restaurant, Pub, Bistro and Best Café categories, there are three businesses hoping to win Best Street Food:  Open Sesame, the Glorious Oyster and the Teign Canteen.

Businesses on the shortlist list for this year's new categories Best Farmers Market and Best Cookery School include: Crediton, Tavistock and Totnes Farmers Markets and Ashburton and Exeter Cookery Schools and Salcombe Distilling.

With our increasing appetite for home--grown it seems only right that we have a fortnight every year to celebrate our great British food heritage.

The 15th British Food Fortnight runs from 23 Sept-8 Oct 2017 and this year is poised to stage another big splash with hundreds of events in schools, shops, pubs, restaurants, hospitals and communities across the country paying homage to our producers both locally and nationally.  In excess of 1.5 million meals a day served during the Fortnight will carry the great British food stamp, all courtesy of catering organisations including the likes of Sodexo, Brakes, Cucina and Hampshire Fare.

The campaign, run by Love British Food, kicked off earlier in the summer with official sponsors, Co-op backing UK farmers by only selling 100% British bacon, lamb, beef, chicken, ham, pork, sausages and turkey from May this year. Pop into any of the 2,600 Co-op stores and you will be greeted by food tasters, displays and promotions. There will be regional events in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and a fun, educational roadshow on food provenance in primary schools.  It’s also launching a campaign to celebrate the UK’s Food Heroines, the female growers, producers, farmers and suppliers who keep British food traditions alive and thriving.

With legendary chef Raymond Blanc at the helm of British Food Fortnight and supported by wellbeing writer and organic farmer, Liz Earle there is a ground swell of support across the regions.  Raymond and Liz will be leading the search for the most imaginative celebrations of British food taking place during the Fortnight and anyone organising an event is encouraged to enter.  Entries are expected from the many towns and villages which are staging their very own food festival and giving a platform to the growing number of new artisan producers while applauding our local food heroes.

A highlight of the Fortnight is the Love British Food Harvest Torch which continues its journey around the country and this year will have travelled from Lincoln Cathedral to St. David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.  The Harvest Torch is a symbol of thanksgiving for all our wonderful home-grown food and over 400 Harvest events will be taking place across the UK. A huge fan of the traditional harvest, Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall will be sending words of support to the National Harvest Service at St. David’s.

“British Food Fortnight has been so powerful in inspiring people around the country, whether big cities like Bath and Peterborough or individual schools, care homes and most importantly tackling British food in the public sector,” says Alexia Robinson, founder of Love British Food and British Food Fortnight.  “In this 15th year, it’s evident that there is a real love for this event, unique in that even though it has such a national presence it is still very much a grassroots movement.

“Fresh challenges face farmers and the food industry this year and these are uncertain times but with backing from the big names in retail, foodservice, key charities and with Raymond Blanc and Liz Earle on board we’re seeing this event grow exponentially each year, and it speaks volumes about our changing attitude to the food we eat and where it comes from.”

Photo courtesy of Moor Hall Hotel   

Seychellois Creole food, which combines flavors from various corners of the world as a result of the Seychelles’ historical connections, is one of the islands’ attributes that appeal to visitors.

Seychellois chef, Marcus Freminot, had the chance to showcase this unique factor of the island destination in South Korea, at the invitation of the Seychelles Tourism Board.

Joined by South Korean chefs, Mr. Freminot prepared a special 5-course Creole meal for over 100 guests including media and travel trade representatives, tourism friends of Seychelles, and important opinion leader groups.

The dishes were served at a reception to mark 10 years since the opening of the Seychelles’ Tourism Board’s regional office in Korea. The reception held at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Wednesday August 30 was also attended by the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), Mrs. Sherin Francis.

Guests were treated to spicy accra and salmon fish cake, smoked fish salad with tropical fruit dressing, lime sorbet with a hint of pineapple Takamaka rum, beef steak, and creole apple and nutmeg fritters and rum infused tropical grilled fruit salad.

As the Creole cuisine combines various spices like garlic, onions, pepper, and ginger similar to Korean cuisine, the first such Creole dinner served in South Korea suited the Korean palates perfectly.

Chef Freminot who had no problem catering for a large group of people said, “It was a good experience as I was preparing the Creole cuisine with a foreign team and it felt good to share part of our heritage with chefs who have never heard of our cuisine before.”

Marcus Freminot who graduated from the Seychelles Hospitality Tourism Training College, now known as the Seychelles Tourism Academy, is a former professor at the same training institution. As a chef, he has worked in several hotels and restaurants as well as at the French Embassy in Seychelles. He has also participated in various culinary competitions in Seychelles and abroad.

While in South Korea, chef Freminot also took part in a “Seychellois-Korean Cuisine & Culture Exchange Master Chef Class.”

He demonstrated his techniques preparing various dishes including salmon fish cake with creole sauce, chicken soup, and a fusion dish that blended Creole food with the traditional Korean red pepper paste known as Gochujang.

A Michelin-starred chef, Tony Yoo, who regularly appears on a famous Korean TV show “Chef & My Fridge” also took part in the master class by demonstrating a combination of a Korean dish with Creole sauce.

The master class was co-hosted by the Korean Food Foundation, an organization affiliated with the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and attended by some 50 guests including Korean food critics, culinary experts, and VIP customers from HanaTour – one of the largest travel company in Korea.

Chef Yoo said, “Creole and Korean cuisines have a lot in common. Both cuisines use a lot of spices, among which, garlic and onion which are used in the preparation of all the Korean food, similar to Creole dishes.”

Chef Freminot described the master class as a good marketing initiative that allowed him to showcase the Creole cuisine to representatives of travel agencies, DMCs, as well as journalists, food critics and the general public in South Korea.

“It gave me the chance to demonstrate our common recipes, ingredients and methods while explaining about our culture. The Korean guest chef Tony Yoo demonstrated two Korean recipes, which also allowed me to capture some techniques widely used in the Korean kitchen,” said Freminot.

Commenting on the two cuisines, chef Freminot said there’s a lot of similarities in the way the food is prepared and plated and even in the presentation.

“There is a lot of color and flavors in the Korean cuisines, the usage of fresh vegetables, spices, and herbs are common for most dishes. The things that really caught my attention are the level of spiciness and the amount of frying involved when cooking Korean food,” said Freminot.

Following his adventure in South Korea, chef Freminot is currently in France taking some time off and exploring other professional avenues.

Rising demand for vegan ranges sees World's oldest Cornish pasty maker, Warrens Bakery, launch vegan take on the original favourite

Following the successful launch of their first ever vegan pasties earlier this year, Cornwall's oldest bakery is delighted to have developed a brand-new vegan range, based on the original classic, handcrafted and freshly baked by the expert team.

Recognised as the world's oldest Cornish pasty maker, the award-winning craft bakery is leading the way in catering for even more hungry customers. Putting provenance at the heart of the well-loved Warrens Bakery recipe, the team have been blown away by the positive response since the first vegan pasties arrived into bakery's in February.

With World Vegan Day on the horizon (1st November 2017), Warrens Bakery's Master Baker Jason Jobling, who also heads up the Cornish Pasty Association, has taken the well-loved dish of years gone by and given it a timely update. Initially launching with flavours inspired by further afield, the brand new Original Vegan Pasty is filled with British grown potatoes, swede, onion and a seasoning of salt and pepper for an authentic taste of the South West.

Those with a sweet tooth will love the additional vegan traybakes, that includes a berrylicious Apple & Raspberry Tray Bake infused with a sprinkling of cinnamon - the perfect mid-afternoon pick me up treat.

Jason Jobling, Master Baker at Warrens Bakery, commented on the freshly baked batch of new arrivals - “Our bakers have been hard at work adapting and redesigning our 150-year-old recipe to create a truly authentic vegan experience. Of course, technically this isn't a Cornish Pasty, as it doesn't contain beef as per the Cornish Pasty Association definition, but as far as a Vegan Cornish Pasty goes, this is the closest you'll get.”

Jason continues – “We've reworked our traditional glaze and pastry and come up with a wholemeal pastry and vegan friendly glaze – topped with distinctive “V” pastry markers so there's no mistaking your vegan lunch. We're still making our Vegan Green Thai & Fiery Mexican Pasties that we proudly launched in the spring and have also introduced the Vegan Apple & Raspberry Tray Bake to complete your lunchtime treat.”

The leading national bakery brand has had a busy few months, as well as celebrating numerous openings and franchise partnerships, the team has been raising a toast after being shortlisted as one of the top three craft bakery businesses in the country, in the Baking Industry Awards 2017. This is the second year running that Warrens Bakery has been shortlisted in the category.

With over 150 years of baking experience, Warrens Bakery's hard work and dedication has already seen them receive a long list of accolades for their sweet bakes and pasties. In 2015, they were recognised in the prestigious Craft Business Award in the Baking Industry Awards 2015 and 2016 saw them win a haul of awards at the 2016 British Pie Awards, the World Pasty Championships and claim victory in a number of independent radio polls.

As the oldest bakery in Cornwall, their range includes traditional bakes, freshly made sandwiches, savouries, scones, a recently revamped artisan bread range and more. They attribute their success not only to the provenance of their ingredients but also to their dedicated team.  All of their baked goods are crafted with an enormous amount of care and attention to detail and using the finest ingredients. Many of their products are also produced to traditional recipes including their Cornish pasty, they are after all the oldest Cornish pasty maker in the world.

The UK's first ever range of fresh vegetables aimed at encouraging kids to eat healthier food is being launched by Tesco.

The range, which goes on sale from today, will begin with easy-to-eat, star-shaped butternut squash bites. It will then roll out to include other fresh produce including smiley sweet potato faces.

Traditionally a technique used for products like tinned alphabet spaghetti and frozen potato dishes, this is the first time this approach has been used for fresh fruit and veg.

Tesco has taken learnings from how children relate to foods with interesting shapes and sizes and hopes it will help make mealtimes more engaging and fun and encourage them to explore a wider range of vegetables.

Tesco vegetable buyer Elizabeth Hall said:

“We want to give parents a helping hand with encouraging their kids to eat more vegetables.

“We've taken away a lot of the hassle out of preparing vegetables like butternut squash, which might deter busy cooks at home, whilst also making them more appealing for children.

“We hope by adding a touch of novelty, we can make vegetables the deliciously nutritious and fun part of every meal”

The move by Tesco to create the child-friendly vegetable shapes has been welcomed by the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

Ali Capper, chairman of the NFU's Horticulture Board said:

Congratulations to Tesco for addressing how we can we can instil a love of fruit and vegetables in children from a very young age.

"We have long been calling on food manufacturers to create fun-shaped fruit and veg for children in smaller-sized portions, which we believe could have a role in helping reverse the current obesity crisis.”

The creation of the butternut squash stars is the latest way Tesco partners with growers so that no edible food goes to waste.

Elizabeth Hall added:

At Tesco we're passionate about tackling food waste from farm to fork.

We work with our growers and suppliers to make sure we use as much of their crops as possible to prevent food waste.

“Besides these stars, butternut is used to make our carb alternatives such as fusilli, spaghetti, lasagne sheets, as well as wedges and soups.”

“These Butternut squash stars are brilliant way to excite kids with great tasting, high quality vegetables that also helps producers who are able to sell even more of their crop.”

Inspired by outdoor adventures and handmade in Dorset, FIREPOT by Outdoorfood has been revealed as The Seed Fund's 2017 winner and will now benefit from a full year of business support, branding and mentoring from the philanthropic organisation's network of food and drink industry experts.

Owner, John Fisher, collected his prize at the Great Taste Golden Fork Award Dinner on Monday 4 September, marking the climactic end to the first year of partnership between The Seed Fund and the world's most coveted food awards. Hailed as "a game changing product that can make a huge difference to eating outdoors”, Outdoorfood has created a selection of backpack-friendly meals including Chilli con Carne, Dal and Risotto with a two-year shelf life, which are free from preservatives and just require hot water to prepare.

Having spent the summer working alongside the future stars of food and drink, as part of this year's Seed Fund Academy, Outdoorfood consistently impressed with the quality of its product and the boundless ambition of John, who first began developing FIREPOT for his own nutritional needs while traveling around the world. Frustrated by the lack of natural foods available to adventurists, John designed his own range of healthy and satisfying slow-cooked meals, ensuring they were lightweight enough to be enjoyed from the heights of the Himalayas to the fjords of Chile.

Jayne Noblet, owner of The Collaborators and founder of The Seed Fund, commented: “We had a very special group of start-ups in this year's Seed Fund Academy, but Outdoorfood really did blow us away with the sheer originality and quality of the product, as well as the team's determination to grow and develop the business. From polar explorers and serious sailors to weekend ramblers and happy campers, this is real food and proper nutrition for when you need it the most. John and his right-hand man, Luke Pollard, have contributed so much to this year's Academy and we know they will make fantastic ambassadors for The Seed Fund in future years, as they continue on their new adventure. In their first six months, FIREPOT meals are already being eaten across the globe, so we can't wait to see how far they can travel in a year with The Seed Fund's support!”

John Fisher, managing director of Outdoorfood, adds: “We entered The Seed Fund Academy with high expectations – an amazing chance to learn from individuals with years of industry experience – but at the time we had no idea of the sheer scale of the impact it would have on our business. The three months of workshops and mentoring sessions have exposed us to invaluable advice and case studies on how to launch and grow a food business. We have also loved working with the other start-ups in the Academy and sharing experiences and solutions with people facing similar challenges. It has been an incredibly energising experience and one I would recommend to any food company in the UK. The Seed Fund has been amazingly generous with their time over the summer and now we have the privilege of continuing to work with them over the next year. We will take this opportunity to pick through every aspect of our brand – not just the public face of our packaging and website, but also our business processes and our approach – and with their help develop Outdoorfood into an international brand worthy of The Seed Fund.”

Champions of Small Business will be supporting ‘Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo,’ Europe’s only event for starting or growing takeaway or restaurant business, on September 26 and 27, at the ExCeL Arena, in London.

The shows runs alongside ‘Restaurant Tech Live’ and ‘Restaurant & Bar Design Show,’ so there will be absolutely everything you need to start, build and grow your food and drink business, with over 500 suppliers, showcasing the most innovative technologies, products, design ideas, marketing strategies and branding, financial services and much more to help your new venture stand out from the crowd.

Additionally, there will be the benefit of expert-led panel debates, interactive features, innovation awards, networking opportunities, workshops and 1-2-1 business advice from some of the most successful start-ups and industry leaders, and it doesn’t stop there!

There will also be the chance to listen to over 250 inspiring seminars, from the likes of John Aizlewood, Market Growth Officer at Pizza Hut; Marcin Korowiecki, Head of Systems at Jamie’s Italian; Abel Campos, Head of Franchising at McDonald’s UK; Pia Fairhurst, Creative Director at Azzurri Group; Lisa Prisk, Head of Design at Tossed and many more!

Multi-award winning fine dining Indian restaurant, Pushkar Cocktail Bar & Dining added a ‘The Best of Birmingham’ award to its list of accolades at the 7th annual English Curry Awards on 21st August 2017.

Many personalities from the hospitality industry gathered at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly hotel to celebrate, reward and highlight the unsung heroes behind the UK’s favourite dish. Attendees enjoyed a glittering ceremony with great food and entertainment while finding out which were the best curry houses of 2017.

With approximately 25 million curries being consumed each week, the English Curry Awards has become a key fixture on the UK social calendar, lauded as a national institution in its own right. The nomination process invited members of the public to nominate their favourite curry restaurants for a deserving accolade.

Pushkar’s Creative Director, Rai Singh, was delighted with the award: “We’re absolutely over the moon to have won another English Curry Award. Birmingham’s culinary scene is one of the richest in the world when it comes to curry establishments, and so to be awarded ‘The Best of Birmingham’, out of so many great curry greats, is such an honour. We are always proud to represent Birmingham and the Midlands. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us through the years and we could not have done this without the amazing team behind Pushkar.”

Red Tractor Week 2017 (11th – 17th September) will celebrate great food, great farming and quality food you can trust. Supported by BBC Countryfile presenter and Red Tractor farmer Adam Henson, the week will encourage people to cook their own recipes using Red Tractor products and post them online using #Trustthetractor.

Red Tractor is creating an online recipe book of real people’s favourite Red Tractor meals. Each day will focus on a different key British ingredient and will be supported by a daily competition, and real life stories and videos from the Red Tractor farmers who bring us our food.

People can take part via social media (on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #Trustthetractor) and on the Red Tractor website (;

  • Monday 11th – Poultry (chicken, duck, turkey)
  • Tuesday 12th  – Dairy (milk, cheese, butter)
  • Wednesday 13th - Pork
  • Thursday 14th – Fruit
  • Friday 15th – Beef & Lamb
  • Saturday 16th – Vegetables (including sugar and potatoes)
  • Sunday 17th - Crops (incl. wheat, barley and oats)

Red Tractor Farmer and BBC Countryfile presenter, Adam Henson said; “What a fabulous week to get out cooking and supporting our wonderful British Red Tractor farmers.  As a Red Tractor farmer myself this is one of my favourite times of year, when the harvest is safely gathered and we can really enjoy the fruits of our labour with so much great food in season.

“This year has been a patchy harvest with mixed quality in wheat and barley, however overall it has been a positive result.  With quality being key, it is more important than ever that the crop is looked after, which is why good standards are important.”

Every stage of the journey your Red Tractor food makes is checked.  Rigorous independent systems ensure that food holding the Red Tractor logo can be traced right back to original British farms.

The week will draw people’s attention to the great standards that go into food and drink with the Red Tractor label. Red Tractor ensures people can trust the food they eat.  It is the largest food standards scheme in the UK, covering; animal welfare, food safety, traceability and environmental protection.

Red Tractor food and drink has been responsibly produced to some of the most comprehensive and respected standards in the world. All stages are regularly checked by independent experts. All the major UK supermarkets use our standards as the basis for their UK sourced food (and most choose to display our logo to confirm product credentials with their customers).

It's the fruit sensation that's graced millions of Instagram feeds and quickly become a breakfast staple.

Now for a limited time only, customers at Tesco will be able to enjoy small, snack–sized avocados, as well as regular-sized varieties.

This is the latest move by Tesco to work in partnership with suppliers so that no edible food goes to waste. Traditionally these smaller avocados would have been rejected by growers due to their size.  Growers have worked hard so that these diminutive eggs are of the same high quality as their larger counterparts.

The rare, mini avocados or Zilla Eggs are about a third of the size of regular avocados and are 24 times smaller than the giant sized Avozilla avocado, which Tesco has sold in a limited number of stores in recent years.

Tesco avocado buyer James Cantoni said:

“At Tesco we're passionate about working in partnership with our suppliers to tackle food waste from farm to fork.

“These Zilla Eggs are a brilliant way to offer customers great tasting, high quality avocados, which previously would have been rejected by growers because of their size.

“They are perfect for customers who want to snack, without the usual fuss or worry of wasting the other half of the avocado. And it also helps producers who are able to sell even more of their avocado crop.”

In recent years the popularity of avocados has overtaken the demand for more established favourites, with demand soaring by more than 30 per cent last year.

It is hoped the trial by Tesco will help to widen the fruit's appeal even further. The size and delicate skin, which can be peeled away by hand, makes these miniature avocados ideal snacking foods, and a perfect addition to a school lunch box.

The Good Food Guide (GFG) has revealed its top places to dine in the UK, along with its award winners. For the first time in five years, the guide, published by Waitrose, has announced a new 'number one restaurant'. And it's not just grand dining-rooms across the UK being celebrated, more quirky finds include an eatery housed in a former strip-club and a tiny 12 seater restaurant run by the guide's 'Chef to Watch'.

New number one The restaurant awarded the top spot in The Good Food Guide 2018 is Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall. It has also achieved a perfect score of ten for the second year running. The Port Isaac seafood restaurant has been crowned number one in the UK for being 'the whole package', with its relaxed dining room, a menu carefully crafted around the freshest Cornish seafood, along with perfect service which 'just happens in the most discreet and attentive way'.  Outlaw takes the title of Britain's best restaurant from L'Enclume in Cumbria after their four years at the summit. However, Simon Rogan's L'Enclume still retains a perfect ten score for its 'fiercely seasonal ingredients' and 'knockout dishes'.

Speaking about the newly crowned number one restaurant, Waitrose Good Food Guide Editor, Elizabeth Carter said, “Nathan Outlaw's food is characterised by the absolute freshness of ingredients and a clear sense of purpose. He has done an enormous amount to educate and encourage the public appetite for fish, driven by his supply of impeccably fine ingredients, and a special talent for creating unique and thrilling fish dishes. Moreover, nobody seems to leave Nathan Outlaw's staff – they just go and work in another one of his restaurants. They obviously think he's a pretty good boss as well as a fine chef.”

Outlaw says, “We've always been proud to have a place in the listings, but to hear that Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has made it to No 1 is phenomenal.  I'd say the award has come due to the hard work and dedication of our team who have now been working together for a decade. It just goes to show that if you stay true to yourself, get your head down, look after your customers and use the very best ingredients available to you, you'll make it to the top.”

Dining discoveries Alongside the finest dining establishments, the GFG also champions more unusual eateries that you may not find in more traditional restaurant guides.  In addition to anonymous inspections, the GFG's research list is based on the huge volume of feedback received from readers and this helps uncover new foodie finds every year.

This year's edition features four new entries housed under railway arches: Umezushi in Manchester; Hart's Bakery in Bristol; and Bala Baya and El Pastor, both in London.

Also new to the GFG this year is Vice and Virtue, a Leeds' restaurant located in a former strip club.   With its Art Deco style interior, this venue is now poles apart from its previous life - it now serves up three tasting menus, with dishes including 'perfect' lobster ravioli and organic apple strudel.

And in Devon you'll find Ode & Co in a posh holiday park above the sea on the Teign Estuary. Run by husband and wife team Tim and Clare Bouget, this eatery has a real focus on local ingredients, with their pizzas cooked in a recycled oven and made with organic Devon flour, topped with local cheese. The GFG has celebrated fine food in a holiday park before. The Marram Grass Cafe found on a caravan site in Anglesey, was featured two years ago.

Says Elizabeth Carter, Waitrose Good Food Guide Editor, “Once again the readers of theguide have pointed our experts towards some brilliant eating in unexpected places. Whether it's fine-dining in a former strip-club, sushi under a railway arch or a fish supper in a shipping container, we find and celebrate culinary flair in all its forms. With this year's new entries including an 'ecological canteen' constructed from renewables in a holiday park, and a former town library playing host to one of Devon's best new openings, The Good Food Guide continues in its mission to uncover great cooking whatever the venue, wherever the talent. We think that eating out should be fun – and that's something these restaurants deliver in spades.”

Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand's largest hotel operator, will participate in an innovative new charity operation that collects and distributes surplus food to benefit people in need, starting this August. The operation, ThaiHarvest|SOS is a joint initiative with OzHarvest, the pioneering Australian organization that has established a proven and successful “Food Rescue” model which is being adopted around the world, and the Thai Foundation Scholars of Sustenance (SOS)”.

The programme's mission is to eliminate hunger and food waste through the re-distribution of quality surplus food. Experts estimate as much as a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted in the transport, distribution, and preparation supply chain. When this food ends up in a landfill, it represents a tremendous waste of resources and a lost opportunity to help people unable to afford adequate nutrition.

The OzHarvest rescue and redistribution system has proven a safe and efficient way to reduce this waste and benefit the planet. Begun in Australia 14 years ago, it is now being replicated in the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Peru, Indonesia and Vietnam. An important part of the initiative is educating people about the problem and opportunity of food waste.

In Thailand, ThaiHarvestISOS picks up good quality surplus food daily from participating supermarkets, hotels, food courts, restaurants and other businesses. Trained inspectors sort the food and assure its safety. Food no longer fit for human consumption is taken to local farms for composting. The rest is refrigerated and delivered to the needy. Since 2016 ThaiHarvestISOS has donated over 60,000 meals to organizations such as Mercy Center Orphanage, Half Way Homes for men and women, the Pak Kred Babies' Home and the Poh Teck Tung Foundation.

In August Centara Hotels & Resorts will begin donating surplus food from its Centara Grand hotels at CentralWorld and Ladprao. Eventually it hopes for all its Thailand properties to participate. These main two properties will also arrange an event called “Master Class Dinner”. It will be led by Will and Steve, celebrity chefs who won Australia's The Seven Network's top rating cooking show in 2015 - My Kitchen Rules Australia and known as chefs who support OzHarvest campaigns and now ThaiHarvestISOS.

“We are thrilled about the leadership taken by Centara to partner with us on our mission to eliminate hunger and reduce food waste through the re-distribution of quality surplus food. Their commitment and support will allow ThaiHarvest|SOS to both help reduce food waste in Thailand and at the same time, provide good meals to those in need in our community”, said Gopi Krishnan, Head of Programmes at OzHarvest and ThaiHarvest|SOS.

“As we prepare food for our guests, unavoidably at the end of each day we have surplus – for example, bakery items or excess from a large banquet,” said Centara's Corporate Director of Food and Beverage, Winfried Hancke. “It is a shame to let this food go to waste when there are so many people who could benefit from it.”

Supatra Chirathivat, Centara's Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs & Social Responsibilities, noted how well the programme fits the group's social responsibility and sustainability goals. “Being a good member of the community means helping those less fortunate and using the earth's resources more efficiently. We're so enthusiastic to support the work of OzHarvest and ThaiHarvestISOS. Food is an area where we can all help reduce waste. I hope our involvement helps educate and inspire others to do their part.”

It was traditionally the supermarket aisle where shoppers purely bought their fruit and vegetables, but now major changes in the produce area are having a profound effect on not only shopping habits but also the move to reduce food waste.

Instead of just fruit and vegetables Tesco fruit and veg aisles now offer shoppers more than 400 fresh, healthy ready meals, snacks and side dishes.

These include healthy carb alternatives such as Butternut Fusilli and Leek and Cavolo Bake; side dishes like Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Mushrooms; snacks like Mexican Spiced Bean and Fruit Salsa; and dessert crumble mixes with fruit.

In the last two years rising demand for these prepared foods has grown by 10 per cent – the equivalent of an extra 1.5 million items bought by shoppers.

And their popularity is having a great environmental knock-on effect – a number of these dishes and snacks allow growers and producers to utilise all of their crops, such as cauliflower, carrots, swedes, broccoli and butternut, leading to less food waste.

For instance, cauliflowers considered too small to sell on their own are now being used to make cauliflower couscous - a healthier replacement for carbs – amongst other prepared veg dishes.

And wonky shaped carrots are now being used to make carrot spaghetti - another healthier alternative to carbs.

Tesco prepared produce buyer Elizabeth Hall said:

“These tempting new fresh fruit and veg foods are not only offering shoppers a far wider choice in healthy, nutritious meals but are also helping tackle food waste through greater crop utilisation.

“For growing numbers of shoppers the fruit and veg aisle is now the first destination they will head to, to find innovative and delicious new meals if they are pressed for time and looking for fresh food they can cook quickly.

“Until about five years ago the main prepared fruit and veg items were stir fry mixes, sides like roasting trays of vegetables, and fruit snack packs.

“These have been so popular that we began to expand the range in order to further help customers who are short on time but still want to experience the joy of cooking fresh food.”

Demand at Tesco has particularly rocketed over the last two years with:

  • Spiralised vegetables such as courgette or carrot spaghetti – soaring by 40 per cent
  • Edamame bean salads – growing by more than 100 per cent
  • Organic prepared salads – up by nearly 90 per cent
  • Healthy fruit snacks such as melon and mango 'fingers' – up 400 per cent
On account of their growing popularity Tesco is about to extend its range of prepared vegetable, fruit and salad dishes.

Among the new lines about to be launched are the UK's first ever mushroom burgers as well as beetroot burgers; potato wedges with katsu dip and crunchy quinoa; and fajita mix with peppers and onions.

Added Tesco's Elizabeth Hall: “It's not only time-pressed shoppers that we are catering for with these new fresh ready meals and snacks.

“Healthy foods such as butternut fusilli and butternut lasagne sheets are meeting the needs of customers wanting to cut down on carbs and look after themselves through simple alternatives.”

With the arrival of August, the Jerte Picota Cherries have started to disappear from UK supermarkets shelves in Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. The end of their short season is unfortunately here, and we won't see them again until next June.

The season of Jerte Picota Cherries lasts for approximately 6 weeks from the end of June until the beginning of August. Jerte Picota Cherries are 100% natural, grown with no additives, making them the perfect fruit to enjoy for any meal during the peak of the summer season.

Following century-long family customs, the cherries are grown in a traditional way on terraces carved out of the high mountains in the Jerte Valley, among crystal-clear springs and pure air. Only this location, with a privileged microclimate, could grow the best cherries from Spain. The season was slightly longer this year due to perfect weather conditions in the Jerte Valley.

With their sweet taste and unique appearance, Jerte Picota Cherries are loved all over the UK, with many fans counting down the days to their arrival. Jerte Picota Cherries have a loyal following on social media, where people come for the latest information, post their own recipes and comment about their recent cherry purchases. One loyal fan, Stephanie P., commented saying, “It's been a wonderful year for the best cherries in the world. Only 46 weeks to go to the next harvest.” This year the Jerte Picota Cherries were also featured in Spanish restaurants throughout London, including José Pizarro Restaurants, Hispania and Ibérica. Delicious dishes were created by top Spanish chefs for people to enjoy.

During the coming months, you can daydream about how you'll use Jerte Picota Cherries next year, from delicious recipes to snacking moments to summer picnics. Keep an eye out for Jerte Picota Cherries next season, looking for the red and yellow PDO logo that accompanies each punnet of cherries.

Obsessive attention to detail has paid off for Devon-based premium soft drinks producer, Luscombe Drinks, who have just won a staggering 15 Great Taste awards at the world's most prestigious food and drinks awards.

Run annually by the Guild of Fine Food, Great Taste awarded Luscombe Drinks four two-star awards for products judged as 'outstanding' and nine one-star awards for those judged as 'simply delicious'. This brings the Luscombe Drinks haul to a total of 73 Great Taste awards for the range of delicate bubblies, fruit crushes, fruit juices, traditional soft drinks, tonic waters and a cider.

Gabriel David, founder and chairman of Luscombe Drinks, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news – 15 more Great Taste awards! I'm particularly delighted that our new tonics have already gained recognition. This is a huge pat on the back for the hard work and dedication of the Luscombe Drinks team, especially given the competition in the soft drinks industry.

“I am extremely proud that Luscombe Drinks now has a total of 73 Great Taste awards – because it is all about the taste. Our ethos is to pay fanatical attention to the detail. We ensure that quality is never compromised when it comes to sourcing the finest ingredients, using minimal processing and crafting the very best soft drinks. And, we are continually innovating and exploring new ingredients and flavours.”