I popped off to sample some ( a lot actually) entries for the Great Taste Awards last week – it’s a day (or days) that I really enjoy. You meet all sorts of people from the food world and also you get to feed your face.
Now this sounds amazing but it is also it really is tinged with danger. I had on one occasion something so hot that I thought it had burnt my taste buds off – after half an apple my taste buds were back to normal – it wasn’t like I hadn’t been warned!
One always expects vast amounts of food and the day definitely starts with great enthusiasm but towards the end of the day it invariably seems heavy going and I start thinking ‘No, no more …’ All the time I taste I think about the customer, if I pick this up as a 2 star would I be disappointed or surprised?
The Great Taste Awards are an international scheme and to be a part of the set up is a real honour. In 2021 the Guild of Fine Food, who is responsible for these prestigious awards, had products from 108 nations across 6 continents. The ‘gongs’ are often referred to as the food oscars. If you manage to bag yourself a coveted 3 gold star (2% of the entries) – you really have got an amazing product. I never have achieved a much coveted 3 star award but if I get a two star product (10%) I am walking on air and a 1 star really is quite remarkable (25%).
The products are blind tasted. No one knows who has produced them except the organisers.
The goods go from table to table being tasted a minimum of 8 times (that’s 4 tables of 2 or 3 people).
Points of note
- Skip breakfast – unless you are a voracious eater you really won’t need or want it – eat it and you may even regret your decision
- Give the pre-tasting biscuits a miss – same as above – you seriously will be full … soon
- The biggest and most beautiful cake isn’t necessarily the best tasting – sad but true
- All cheese is not equal (some aren’t great but when you get a good one – amazing)
- Never disregard the humble – if you see a very ordinary looking jar or olive don’t disregard it, it may knock your socks off
- Don’t be surprised when a huge joint of beef heads towards you – cooked and gorgeous, mouthwatering – all the food is prepared by a chef according to the instructions given – but sometimes they are rather grim
- The people that put these products in believe in them – they are generally made with a whole lotta love
- Listen out for the bell – when it goes it’s special – really special – someone has themself a three star product
Many people enter these awards for many reasons but for sure those 3 star winners see a rise in sale. For me, it’s the accolade and letting people know that I sincerely care about what I produce.