Antony Worrall Thompson presented Hertfordshire pub, The Alford Arms, with the Silver Salver for the most allergen-aware eatery, serving the best ‘free from’ food, in the UK – at the inaugural FreeFrom Eating Out Awards at the Food Matters Live event yesterday. The awards were sponsored by Sodexo.
The Alford Arms, one of a small chain of Home Counties pub restaurants, has been judged to serve the best ‘free from’ food (gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soya-free) in the inaugural FreeFrom Eating Out Awards, launched to raise awareness of the new allergen declaration regulations coming into force this December.
“I am hearing heavenly choirs”, enthused the final round judge who ate, incognito, at the Alford Arms. “As someone with multiple serious allergies, I have never been so well fed and cared for.”
They prepared me a special menu with multiple choices of excellent fresh, imaginative and delicious food, and checked it with me three times, yet on the night I was treated like any other guest – absolutely no embarrassing fuss.
Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, awards director, said:
“The standard of the entries was exceptionally high while the enthusiasm and commitment of the chefs and owners was really heart warming. We are very excited about the possibilities offered to the food service industry by the ‘free from’ movement and expect ‘free from’ in food service to grow at an even faster rate than the 15% year on year that it has achieved in the retail market.”
Wan Mak, head of nutrition and dietetics at awards sponsors Sodexo, said:
“We are delighted by the response to the launch of these awards. It is so important that food service is able to implement the new allergen regulations which can help to inform the growing number of people who have to live on restricted diets. We are sure that these awards will help to raise awareness of the regulations and help to encourage compliance.”
The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards are run by the same team as run the very successful FreeFrom Food Awards (now in their eighth year) and the FreeFrom Skincare Awards (now in their fourth year).