The Chefs’ Choice Awards is back for 2019 and is seeking entries from foodservice suppliers that want to show the industry they’re best in class. Run in partnership with Restaurant magazine as well as its sister titles The Grocer, The Morning Advertiser and Food Manufacture, and in association with Food Innovation Solutions and Good Sense Research, the initiative is designed to showcase the great work of foodservice suppliers, from wholesalers through to manufacturers.
The awards are judged by chefs for chefs and seek to highlight quality, innovation, creativity, value and great taste delivery in frozen, fresh, chilled and ambient products. The awards are run to enhance the sector and highlight product credibility and the development work that takes place behind the scenes. The awards also allow businesses in the foodservice supply chain to compete in core product categories and secure a competitive advantage via independent assessment of eating quality and taste.
How it works
There are 26 categories, from across ambient, chilled, fresh, frozen and part-baked – including Vegan/Plant-based Foods; Cheese and Dairy Products; Finished Desserts and Gateaux; Preserves; and Hot Beverages (see below), to name but a few – in which you can enter your product or products. These products are then prepared and cooked by qualified chefs in a professional kitchen following portion guidance and recommended preparation instructions, serving suggestions and cooking times.
The judging panel will put each entry through its paces on a stringent range of agreed criteria, including appearance, aroma, flavour, texture and value per portion, plus level of innovation. The quality assessment will be undertaken ‘brand free’ with the packaging not visible. The products will also be rated by the cooking team on ease of prep and speed of prep. The judging panel comprises chefs, nutritionists, food technologists and end users, such as restaurateurs and pub operators, meaning product excellence is recognised by the people who really matter to your business. Last year’s judging panel included Mike Faers, founder at Food Innovation Solutions; and Jonny Bingham, director at Bingham and Jones Innovations in Food.
Sweet opportunity: The Chefs' Choice Awards allow foodservice companies to show operators they're best in class
How to enter
Entering the Chefs’ Choice Awards is easy. You will need to put forward a finished food product that is ambient, chilled, fresh, frozen or part-baked to take part. It costs £475+VAT for companies with a turnover of £5m or more and £285+VAT for companies with a turnover of less than £5m. The deadline is 12 November. Winners will be announced at a drinks reception at The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London, on Tuesday 5 March. Last year, the event saw VIPs, entrants, judges and colleagues come together to network and celebrate the success and quality of the foodservice supply chain, which has gone from strength to strength in recent years.
The benefits of winning
All of the category winners and the highly rated entrants can use – for free – the high-profile logo endorsement supported by a number of William Read Business Media brands.
Winning or securing a highly rated standard is an independent validation of a product’s quality and suitability for the foodservice market. The products will gain recognition in market-leading brands Restaurant, The Grocer, The Morning Advertiser and Food Manufacture, supported by William Reed Business Media, as well as at the awards ceremony itself.Success allows companies to stand out and obtain extensive positive marketing exposure to gain new business and to reinforce existing customer relationships. To enter, visit www.chefschoiceawards.co.uk
Fresh thinking: The awards are judged by a mix of operators and food experts
Praise for the awards
“The Chefs’ Choice Awards shine a light on the best products for foodservice. Winning no fewer than five awards in 2017 was great for us, and our customers, and we are very much looking forward to next year’s awards.”
Sarah Wilkinson, deli & meal solutions, Brakes
“It’s great to have our products recognised by top chefs and industry experts for their taste and quality.”
Katharine Hamblin, marketing manager, Pipers Crisps
“Winning at the Chefs’ Choice Awards earlier this year has been fantastic for us in reinforcing the outstanding quality of our own-brand products. Especially as these were judges and chosen from a panel of professional chefs.”
Holly Marrero Easson, own-brand controller, Bidfood
Chefs’ Choice 2019: the categories
There are 26 categories in which you can enter a finished product or products. These are:
● Bread and morning goods
● Breakfast cereals
● Cheese and dairy products
● Chilled salads
● Chocolate products
● Crisps, nuts and snacks
● Finished desserts and gateaux
● Fish and shellfish
● Fruit and vegetables
● Hot beverages
● Ice creams and sorbets
● Meat products
● Party and buffet foods
● Prepared dishes
● Potato products
● Poultry products
● Products sold as free-from
● Rice, pasta, grains
● Savoury pies and flans
● Soft drinks
● Soups and stocks
● Sweet and savoury sauces
● Sweet cakes and biscuits
● Vegan/plant based foods