Last night Mitchells & Butler were handed the title Foodservice Operator of the Year for the second year in a row at the prestigious British Turkey Awards ceremony held at The Savoy in front of 260 people from the turkey industry, retailers, caterers and press. M&B supply turkey crowns to Toby Carvery pub restaurants all year round and were praised for their commitment to supporting British Turkey on the menus seven days a week. Their crowns also won the Best Catering Product for Profit Sector. An independent panel of judges said it was the stand-out winner for its great flavour, juicy texture and appealing golden skin.
The Best Catering Product for Cost Sector was won by The UK Foodhall Ltd’s Ready to Roast British Turkey Breast which comes in its own convenient roasting bag and judges thought tasted very good and would be versatile for schools and local authority caterers.
The judging panel comprised two journalists from a women’s lifestyle magazine and a catering trade magazine, editor of a meat trade magazine, a director from the Craft Guild of Chefs, a food blogger and British Turkey ambassador, and a consumer who won their place on the panel through a competition on the British Turkey website.
Winners of the 13 categories were announced from 158 entries, ranging from mini turkey fillets topped with brie, cranberry and bacon to special breeds of whole turkey such as Narragansett and Roly Poly – judges tasted 17 different whole Christmas turkeys in total.
Paul Kelly, Chair of the British Turkey Federation said: “We are very proud of the fantastic British turkey products being developed and supported by all our foodservice and retail customers. The industry is a real success story and we wish to continue seeing turkey being available in all in all kinds of formats not only at Christmas but all year round.”
Two catering students also impressed at the awards ceremony with their tasty turkey dishes. The pair won the nationwide British Turkey Student Chef of the Year competition earlier this year and got to cook their winning dishes at the prestigious hotel as part of their work experience prize. Students were challenged to create original and innovative dishes using turkey breast or leg meat which was themed for the first time this year with: “Arabian Nights”.
David Pullin of South Staffordshire College recreated his starter of British turkey bonbon with shredded turkey tian, split pea hummus, saffron couscous and Arabic flatbread; and Jessica Marshall from Hull College made her main course – Pomegranate spiced British turkey baton with saffron potato, rosewater poached rhubarb and crab-apple blackberry jam sauce.
David and Jessica each received a trophy on stage, handed to them by comedian Patrick Kielty and Paul Kelly. Kielty also provided after dinner entertainment.
Paul continued: “There was a lot of good feedback from guests – they had never tasted turkey like this before and said how well it carried the lovely Moroccan spices. The students worked very hard and we hope they will continued to be inspired to use turkey in new and exciting ways once they go off on their catering careers. They are the proof that turkey is a fantastic meat for pubs and restaurant menus as it is so versatile, tastes excellent and is also great value too”.
The evening raised more than £14,500 for the children’s medical charity Sparks, and Dravet Syndrome UK.
The winners in full:
Best Meal Solution (sponsored by Hybrid Turkeys)
· By Sainsbury’s Thigh Joint with a herb & cranberry crumb
Best Christmas Convenience Product (sponsored by Securcom)
· Sainsbury’s Turkey Breast & Thigh Joint with Pork, Cranberry & Apple Stuffing, Topped with Cranberry & Apricot
Best Christmas Traditional Product (sponsored by Easichick)
· Morrisons Fresh Whole Turkey
Best Christmas Premium Product (sponsored by Clarke Group Construction Ltd)
· Asda Butchers Selection Blue Slate Whole turkey
Best Innovation Christmas (sponsored by ABN)
· Sainsbury’s TtD Norfolk Black Free Range Turkey Parcel. Layered With Chestnut, Maple and thyme stuffing, cranberries and wrapped in oak smoked bacon
Best Innovation All Year Round (sponsored by ABN)
· Asda chosen by you turkey mini fillets with brie, cranberry sauce & bacon
Best Foodservice Product for Cost Sector (sponsored by Noble Foods)
· The UK Foodhall Ready to Roast British Turkey Breast
Best Foodservice Product for Profit Sector (sponsored by Noble Foods)
· Mitchells & Butler – Toby Carvery – Carvery Turkey Crown
Best Ready-to-Eat Product (sponsored by Calor)
· Adlington Roasted Turkey Breast Stuffed with Ham & Wholegrain Mustard
Foodservice operator of the year (sponsored by Coveris)
· Mitchells & Butler – Toby Carvery
Best Blogger Recipe (sponsored by Red Tractor)
Foodycat Alicia – Turkey B’stilla
Student Chefs of the Year (sponsored by Aviagen Turkeys)
· David Pullin of South Staffordshire College for his ‘Oasis of the Middle East’ Turkey bonbon, Yellow Split Pea Hummus Shredded Turkey Thigh in Moroccan Style Chutney, Saffron Couscous, Arabic Flatbread Shard and Mint Yoghurt Dip
· Jessica Marshall of Hull College for her ‘Golden saffron potato surprise with a blanket of rice topped with fried spinach and spiced turkey batons coated in pomegranate reduction with ground pistachios encased, surrounded by a crab apple and blackberry jam sauce with poached rose water rhubarb’
Retailer of the Year (sponsored by Zoetis)
In picture L-R: Paul Kelly, British Turkey Federation; Keith Edwards, M&B; sponsor Rob Court, Coveris; Tanya Hibbard, M&B, comedian Patrick Kielty