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A breakfast fit for a Diamond Queen!

02.06.2012

Jubillee Winners

(Representatives from The Church Restaurant presented with their certificates) 

Long after the celebrations of the royal weekend are over, the corks at The Church Restaurant in Northampton will still be popping as the venue has been appropriately crowned winner of the ‘Northamptonshire Jubilee Breakfast’ category in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2012/13!

The Awards, devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector and this special category was introduced for the first time this year as a way to mark Her Majesty’s sixty years on the throne!

The Church Restaurant was among four finalists required to cook and serve a two course breakfast and drink in the hour-long cook-off at ‘The Manor Restaurant in Corby, part of Tresham College of Further and Higher Education and its pairing of chef Jesse Richards and waitress Gemma Martin thoroughly impressed the panel of expert judges with their royal-themed menu; it began with an Earl Grey-infused tea loaf served with apricot preserve from The Pickled Village in Bulwick, followed by a ‘Queen of Tarts’, which combined Sauls of Spratton sausages with apple and asparagus and served with a hash brown using mushrooms from Moreton Pinkney near Brackley. Both dishes were washed down with a glass of a drink specially created for the competition called ‘An English Rose’ which Gemma mixed fresh using blended strawberries from Dovecote Farm at Newton near Kettering, Champs D’Amour sparkling wine from Brixworth vintners Fleurfields and topped with crystallized petals of the Queen Elizabeth rose.

Moments before ringing the restaurant to let them know the happy news, Gemma revealed what success meant to them; “Jesse and I are really proud to have represented the whole Church team and of course we’re over the moon to have won this Award! We put a lot of effort into the jubilee theme of our dishes and in trying to source as much local produce as we could, something we do in our menu back at the restaurant, so we’re really pleased that the judges seemed to be so impressed!”

Oundle Mill was named runner-up while the other two finalists who narrowly missed out on the title were (in alphabetical order) Charterhouse Retreat at Flore and Hope Enterprises (Northampton).

Among those with the tasty but difficult task of assessing the finalists were BBC Radio Northampton’s Drivetime presenter Joe Pignatiello and André Gonzales de Savage, Chairman of Explore Communications Ltd which sponsored the category, while the entire process – from kitchen to restaurant table – was closely watched by an expert panel of judges including Richard Curtis, Lecturer in Catering at Northampton College, and his Tresham counterpart Claire Jezard; “I want to congratulate all of our finalists today,” explained Claire, “as the standard has been excellent in everything from hygiene to culinary skills to the quality of the local produce they sourced for their menus. Tresham College is very pleased to have been part of such a successful event!”

Meanwhile, the new Mayor of Corby, Cllr Mohammed Rahman, presented the certificates to the four finalists and lately commented how the event  was proving perfect preparation for his forthcoming royal duties; “I shall be meeting Her Majesty The Queen when she comes to Corby later this month and I’m sure she’d be very pleased to think of the wonderful culinary delights that have been prepared today in her honour! Being a chef myself, I can fully appreciate the skills that were required to create these dishes and I’m very impressed by all the finalists!”

There are twelve categories in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2012/13:

‘New Local Product of the Year’ – sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd

‘New Local Drink of the Year’ – sponsored by Beckworth Emporium

‘Artisan Local Product/Drink of the Year’ – sponsored by Leatherhead Food Research with Image Magazine

‘Restaurant of the Year’ – sponsored by Whitco with Business Times

‘Pub or Bar Restaurant of the Year’ – sponsored by Whitco with Great Food Magazine

‘Community Pub of the Year – Town’ – with Chronicle & Echo and Evening Telegraph

‘Community Pub of the Year – Rural’ – with Chronicle & Echo and Evening Telegraph

‘Booker Chef of the Year’ – sponsored by Booker with Taste Magazine

‘Young Chef of the Year’ – sponsored by Booker

‘Spice Chef of the Year’ – sponsored by British Pepper and Spice in conjunction with Northampton College and with WOW Magazine

‘Local Food Hero’ – sponsored by CPRE Northants (Campaign to Protect Rural England) with Aspire Magazine

‘Northamptonshire Jubilee Breakfast’ – sponsored by Explore Communications Ltd

The Church Restaurant will be presented with their trophy at the Awards Dinner at The Wing, Silverstone on Wednesday 14th November, when the results of the other eleven categories in this year’s competition will be revealed. Tickets for the Dinner priced at £80.00 (plus VAT) are available by calling Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or emailing rachel@rachelmallows.com

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