Only a couple of weeks remain to the most eagerly anticipated event in the Welsh food and drink calendar - the Wales the True Taste Food & Drink Awards 2011-12.
The annual Welsh Government managed awards, is celebrating its tenth anniversary, which is being held in association with leading organic dairy, Rachel’s.
The Awards were established to celebrate and highlight excellence in the food, drink and hospitality sectors, and create awareness of the quality and range of produce and services in Wales.
A moveable feast, this year the awards ceremony is heading to North Wales, with Venue Cymru in Llandudno hosting the event on Thursday, October 20th, when the category winners will be revealed.
The presenters for the ceremony will be BBC Wales presenter Jason Mohammed and S4C presenter Heledd Cynwal.
Said Jason, “Over the past ten years the Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards have been an important showcase for our producers and products, and I am delighted to be part of the competition’s anniversary event.
“As a reporter and presenter I have covered many stories about the highs – and sometimes lows – of Welsh food producers. I am always amazed by the growing quality and popularity of our food and drink.”
Said Heledd, “I am a firm believer in supporting local produce and businesses. I live in Llandeilo, which has a great variety of food shops and produce, and you get to know the people and how they work.
“The True Taste Awards recognise all the effort and hard work the producers and businesses put in – and it gives them a boost.”
The Awards dinner will be prepared by the in-house team at Venue Cymru headed by executive chef, Rob Lawton.
While for a group of Coleg Llandrillo Cymru hospitality and catering students the True Taste Awards ceremony will provide a rare opportunity to gain experience working at such a prestigious and large scale event.
Some of the 12 to 14 of the students will work in the kitchen alongside the professional staff, while others will be involved in service and front of house activities; and will be supervised by College lecturing staff.
The independently judged awards feature 16 categories* (see notes to editors), which aim to cater for all areas of the food and drink production, retail and hospitality sectors.
This year there were some 1,017 entries from 366 companies in the overall competition, drawn from companies large and small across Wales.
Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries said, “Year on year the Wales the True Taste Food & Drink Awards has grown in popularity and stature, and is recognised in Wales and beyond as a mark of the quality and diversity of produce and services offered by the industry in Wales.
“I am sure it will be a wonderful showcase evening for Welsh food and drink. I look forward to hearing about the winners.”
The sponsors of this year’s Awards include multiple retailers, food organisations and businesses as well as media companies.
Among them are: Asda, Bangor Mussel Producers Ltd, Bodnant Welsh Food, Brains, Decantae Natural Mineral Water, Fine Food Digest, Farm Shop & Deli Show, Food & Drink Expo, Fine Food Digest, Food Technology Centre at Coleg Menai, Harlech Food Service, Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales, Imperial Hotel, Menter a Busnes, Puffin Produce Ltd, Real Food Festivals, Taste of Christmas, Tesco, The Grocer, Western Mail, Welsh National Opera, and Zero2Five Food Industry Centre at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.
While the Awards supporters include: Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Conwy County Borough Council, Farmers Union of Wales, National Farmers Union Cymru, Pembrokeshire College, S4/C, Tinopolis Interactive, UWIC, and Venue Cymru.
This year’s awards also coincide with the annual North Wales celebration of food and drink – Gwledd Conwy Feast (October 22nd & 23rd).
Held in the ancient town of Conwy, the Feast features a variety of activities and exhibitions including a True Taste Winners Food Hall.
Any members of the media who would like to cover the Wales the True Taste Food & Drink Awards ceremony should please contact Rachel Coles on 03000 622201 or 07800 864157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org