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Wignall’s Yallo on winning Product of the Year at the Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards

PUBLISHED: 00:00 03 July 2018

Winners John and Clare Wignall with award sponsor Mike Pennington

Winners John and Clare Wignall with award sponsor Mike Pennington

Archant

A couple who picked up a top award at last year’s Lancashire Life & Lake District Life Food and Drink Awards describe their moment in the spotlight.

John and Clare down on the farmJohn and Clare down on the farm

Being able to put the words ‘award winning’ before the title of your business can make a real difference – just ask Clare and John Wignall.

At last year’s Lancashire Life & Lake District Life Food and Drink Awards, the prize for Product of the Year went to their innovative business, Wignall’s Yallo, a cold-pressed rapeseed oil.

They grow it at the 600 acre farm they took over with John’s brother, Derek, and press and bottle it on site to satisfy a growing number of enthusiastic customers.

‘The publicity we received in Lancashire Life as a result of the awards was fantastic,’ said Clare. ‘Loads of people commented on it and as a result we have more customers. It’s very nice to be an award winner and we are very proud to have been chosen from so many fantastic local producers.’

2018 Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards sponsors2018 Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards sponsors

John and Clare were there on the night to pick up their award. ‘We were speechless – completely gobsmacked. It was a wonderful night and we met some brilliant people,’ she said.

Since then, word has continued to spread about their oil and production at Standish Hall Farm near Wigan has risen. ‘We’ve come a long way in a fairly short space of time and the award helped us to achieve that,’ said Clare

Many will have been familiar with the vivid yellow fields of rapeseed but it’s only in the last few years that people have got to know more about this versatile, healthy and delicious oil.

No doubt more producers will have their names in lights that this year’s Lancashire Life & Lake District Life Food and Drink Awards.

We are delighted that it is being staged at a new venue, Ribby Hall Village, holder of two AA Rosettes for its Orangery restaurant in Wrea Green, near Preston. The black tie occasion is a night of drama and fun as we welcome the cream of the food and drink industry.

A host of nominees will be hoping to be rewarded with one of Lancashire Life’s prestigious accolades for their flair and hard work in the area’s kitchens and dining rooms. The evening will also raise funds for Hospitality Action, which supports people from the industry who have fallen on hard times.

All nominations from readers go to our panel of independent judges – Trevor Stone, who headed the AstraZeneca catering operation, dedicated chef and lecturer Nick Hatch and Lancashire Life’s food and drink writer, Emma Mayoh, with editor Roger Borrell as chairman.

The winners are revealed during an exciting ceremony, held this year in Ribby Hall’s Woodland Suite. Chris Parsons, head banqueting chef, has been working alongside various brigades throughout The Village to plan a fantastic and all new menu.

Paul Green, senior manager of food and beverage at Ribby Hall, said: ‘Without giving too much away, this year we promise to bring something different to the table in terms of the quality Lancashire produce we use.’

New for this year is the introduction of the ‘Restaurant with Rooms’ category in response to the rise in great pubs and inns offering accommodation. This is open to any establishment with 12 or fewer bedrooms. The ‘Family Dining’ award and ‘Outstanding Customer Service’ award have also now been opened to a reader vote.

Lancashire Life editor, Roger Borrell, said: ‘I can’t wait for the awards. They are the highpoint of our year and a way to showcase the growing importance – and excellence – of the region’s hospitality industry.’

foodawards.lancashirelife.co.uk

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