2012-2013 Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards sponsored by Robinsons Brewery

PUBLISHED: 15:27 21 November 2012 | UPDATED: 22:25 20 February 2013

The Alexandra Suite at the Midland Hotel

The Alexandra Suite at the Midland Hotel

The county's culinary elite descended on Manchester's iconic Midland Hotel for the prestigious Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards. Emma Mayoh reports. PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JOHN COCKS AND KIRSTY THOMPSON

James Walton isnt normally stuck for words, but he was speechless when his name was read out as the Lancashire Life Food Producer of the Year.

The 19-year-old from Huncoat, founder of Dough 2b Different, looked stunned as he walked to the stage at the Midland Hotel in Manchester during the glittering Lancashire Life and Lake District Life Food and Drink Awards, sponsored by north west family brewers Robinsons.

James started baking when he was just eight but, in the last two years, a business that began using with his mums oven has developed impressively. He has his own bakery in Accrington with a second in Botany Bay set to open soon.

Nights out with his friends were sacrificed in favour of working into the early hours making dozens of loaves of his organic bread for numerous farmers markets.

Despite his tender years James, who made it to the finals of the Baker of the Year Awards, also employs apprentices so he can pass on his skills.

I cant believe I have won this award, he said. Things have gone so well for me but this is just something else. Im very happy, its amazing.
Equally jubilant was the winner of the Lancashire Dining Pub of the Year.

As a young girl Joycelyn Neve enjoyed success in horse riding events to the point where she even trialled for the Olympics.


She has also modelled as well as acted in popular soaps like Channel 4s Hollyoaks. But the 27-year-old, a member of the famous Fleetwood fishing family, has for some time been determined to one day own her own restaurant. In fact, it was attending a Lancashire Life lunch with her father some years ago that sparked her ambition.

She did it first by opening The Oyster and Otter in Feniscowles, near Blackburn, but it was her latest venture, The Assheton Arms, in the pretty village of Downham, that earned her a prestigious Lancashire Life Food and Drink Award. She runs both of venues with executive head chef and partner, Antony Shirley, and her dad, Chris, sources the best seafood possible.

She said: This is the award that everyone wants. Its the local one that people in the area take notice of. Lancashire Life is a magazine that is close to our heart so to get this recognition is quite incredible. We are so made up and we also feel incredibly proud. I had always wanted to host my own Lancashire Life lunch which I did earlier this year and now I have an award too. Its fantastic.

For Chrissy and Andy Hill, receiving the Lake District Restaurant of the Year for their restaurant Jumble Room in Grasmere, was a dream come true. The couple have created a quirky, eclectic and welcoming restaurant that is loved by everyone from the droves of tourists who pour into the picture postcard village to Saatchi and Saatchi boss Kevin Roberts.

The couple, who admit they had little cooking experience when they first opened their doors, consider their Lancashire Life award their first major win. Chrissy said: When they read our name out I wanted to run out of the room I was in that much shock. This is such great recognition for what we have both been doing but we cant quite believe it. Its absolutely amazing.

Around 300 people were welcomed to the Alexandra Suite for the gala evening by Cheshire Life editor, Louise Taylor, and Lancashire Life editor Roger Borrell. Former Miss World contestant turned television presenter, Claire Smith, and food writer, Ray King, handed out the awards.

It was not long before the champagne corks were popping for the team at the Salt House in Liverpool. This fantastic tapas bar, set up just over two years ago, has been a labour of love for owners Paddy Smith, Jonathan Poole, chef Martin Renshaw and Caryn Philip.

Other winners included The Grill on the Hill at Stanley House Hotel who received the Lancashire Restaurant of the Year Award a great achievement hot on the heels of commis chef Lewis Gallaghers recent success securing third place at the National Young Chef of the Year competition.

San Carlo Cicchetti in Manchester and The Inn at Whitewell at the heart of the picturesque Ribble Valley were recognised for the talent, flair and culinary creativity being awarded the Manchester Restaurant of the Year and Lancashire Hotel of the Year.

Lake District Life Hotel of the Year was Windermeres Gilpin Lodge Country House Hotel. This family-run luxury hotel has recently been further enhanced with the creation of a Lake House.

A raffle, with prizes including a state-of-the art sound system, designer jewellery and the opportunity to win your weight in Robinsons beer, also raised almost 2,400 for North West Air Ambulance.

Lancashire Dining Pub of the Year
Sponsored by Stephensons
The Assheton Arms, Downham

Lancashire Restaurant of the Year
Sponsored by Total Food Services
The Grill on the Hill, Mellor

Lake District Restaurant of the Year
Sponsored by Sugar Daddy Patisserie
Jumble Room, Grasmere

Lancashire Hotel of the Year
Sponsored by Whitehouse Event Crockery
The Inn at Whitewell, Whitewell

Lake District Hotel of the Year
Sponsored by The Linen Group
Gilpin Lodge Country House Hotel, Windermere

Lancashire Food Producer of the Year
Sponsored by Taste Northwest
James Walton, Dough2b Different

Liverpool Restaurant of the Year
Sponsored by Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses
Salt House, Liverpool

Manchester Restaurant of the Year
Sponsored by Joseph Heler Cheese
Ciccheti by San Carlo, Manchester

Winners dinners

Drinks reception:
Canaps and Prosecco San Marco Extra Dry, supplied by Robinsons Brewery

To start:
Ham hock and leek terrine with homemade and deconstructed piccalilli, supplied by Classic Catering

For main:
Pot roasted rump of Lancashire lamb with a port wine sauce, fondant potato and Savoy cabbage with rosemary and glazed carrot, supplied by H Greaves and Son

To finish:
Autumn fruit crumble tart with vanilla ice cream and crme Anglaise, supplied by Sugar Daddy Patisserie

Cheese course:
Blacksticks Blue, Rinded Trotter Hill Mature Farmhouse Lancashire, and Kidderton Ash goats cheese supplied by Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses. Traditional white Cheshire, Joseph Gild and Original Reserve Red Leicester, supplied by Joseph Heler Cheese

Dinner wines:
Monte Carbonero Blanco, Monte Carbonero Tinto and Monet Carbonero Delicate Blush, supplied by Robinsons Brewery

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