The awards ceremony took place at the Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park last night (April 23) and was attended by 300 ‘free-from’ food enthusiasts.
One judge said of the overall winner: “A perfect pork pie! I just do not believe that it is both gluten-free and dairy-free! Just enough jelly. Perfect balance of meat & pastry. A classic!”
Voakes had been making award-winning pork pies from its own-farmed pigs for more than 40 years, according to the awards organisers.
But when Nick Voakes’s partner Laura McGowan was diagnosed as coeliac, the family focused their expertise on creating a gluten-free and wheat-free pork pie which would be indistinguishable from their classic standard pies. Their free-from pork pies are created in a dedicated gluten-free facility near their farm in Yorkshire.
Close runners up for the FAIR trophy for the best Free-From Food 2015 included Genius Gluten Free’s gluten- and dairy-free Pain au Chocolat, Explore Asian’s Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine and Amy’s Kitchen’s Gluten-free Chinese Noodles and Veggies.
“Yet again – an amazing range of innovative and really excellent products,” said Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, director of the awards. “It is very hard these days to tell a free-from food from a non-free-from food – just look at our winner tonight! No one would believe that it wasn’t just an excellent traditional pork pie!”
Antony Worrall Thompson, long-term patron of the awards, added: “Every year I am amazed how the free-from sector has grown – and how innovative the products continue to be. Edamame fettuccine, for goodness sake! An exciting option for any restaurateur but with the added bonus of being gluten-free!”
Other award winners
- Innovation award: Kirsty’s gluten-free and dairy-free beef lasagne with a rich bolognese sauce
- Retailer of the year: Tesco
- Breakfast foods: Genius’s pain au chocolat and Primal Joy Foods’s maple & pecan nut crunch were joint winners
- Bread: joint winners: Smart Eats & Treats’s rosemary and olive oil focacette and Tesco’s free-from fresh seeded bread
- Store cupboard: joint winners: Fria’s Swedish style puff pastry, Quinola Mothergrain’s express quinoa with split peas
- Pasta and pizza: joint winners: Explore Asian’s Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine, Rizopia’s organic brown rice spaghetti
- Raw foods and superfoods: Marvellous Superfood’s super protein
- Food-to-go and vending: Voakes’s free-from traditional pork pie
- Down the pub and bar: joint winners: Stringer’s Beer’s Outlook Amber Ale, Tesco’s savoury party pack selection
- Meaty and fishy ready meals: Tesco’s free-from smoked haddock fish cakes with a melting middle
- Veggie ready meals: Amy Kitchen’s gluten-free Chinese noodles & veggies
- Foods suitable for nut and peanut allergics: Ilumi’s chicken za’tar
- Children’s food: Georgia’s Choice’s chicken grills
- Tea time: joint winners: Feel Free’s gluten-free donuts, The Free From Bakehouse’s rosemary and raisin cookies
- Desserts and puddings: joint winners: The Coconut Collaborative’s dairy-free mango & passion fruit coconut milk yogurt, Glamour Puds’s raspberry bakewell tart
- Confectionery and chocolate: joint winners: Doisy & Dam’s maca, vanilla & cacao nibs, Kinnerton Confectionery’s dairy-free hollow Santa
- Bars: Get Fruity’s moist mixed berry bar