Cardiff hosts Welsh round of Great Taste judging
Restaurant critic Charles Campion and Telegraph Weekend food writer Xanthe Clay are among the posse of professional foodies converging on Cardiff this week to judge Welsh entries in Great Taste 2015.
Tasting sessions are in full swing at St David’s Hotel on Cardiff Bay and will run until June 4, after the Welsh Government invited the Guild of Fine Food to bring the awards judging to Wales for the first time.
The Great Taste roadshow is part of a wider drive by the Welsh Government to grow the country’s food and drink sector by 30% over the next five years.
It follows three days of judging in Belfast last year, supported by Invest Northern Ireland.
Around 120 Welsh products collected Great Taste awards last year, out of 374 entries from 99 companies. This year’s competition has seen a surge in interest, with 143 Welsh producers putting 491 products forward for judging.
Guild managing director John Farrand said last year’s roadshow in Belfast has not only raising the profile of Great Taste and the winning producers but “waved the flag for Northern Ireland as a serious food destination”.
“The increase in Welsh entries this year has been a real pleasure to see, with a wealth of beer, yoghurt and ice cream brands in particular set to be put before our judges.
”I’d like to encourage more producers in Wales to enter Great Taste in 2016 and beyond, helping to build the profile of Welsh produce to a worldwide audience which we know is eager to source from the list of Great Taste stars.”
Click here to view the Welsh Government’s case studies on Great Taste-winning Welsh producers.
The Cardiff roadshow forms part of an eight-week judging process – mainly undertaken at the Guild’s Dorset HQ – which will see 10,000 products from the UK and beyond assessed by hundreds of independent judges.
Rufus Carter, commercial director of multi-award-winning North Wales producer Patchwork Paté, said the scheme was “the most credible and transparent food awards in the UK”. “Each year Great Taste challenges us to get better, and to be recognised is still a genuine buzz,” he added.