You may already be familiar with the FreeFrom Food Awards. I was delighted to join the judging team for these in 2016. Before I did I already followed the Awards and found them a wonderful way to discover excellent new Free From foods. The Awards encourage and celebrate excellent free from food. Excellence can many any or all of food which –
- Tastes fantastic
- Represents innovation in their design
- Offers nutritious, healthy options
- Brings something to the Free From market that was previously missing
- Is Free From at least one but often multiple allergens, making them enjoyable by as many people as possible
There are also FreeFrom Eating Out Awards and the Shortlist for 2016 has just been announced! Candidates include Cafes, Fish & Chip shops, Pubs, Restaurants and B&Bs all throughout England. Lots of the venues are *not* even in London! The horror!
Just like the FreeFrom Food Awards, the FreeFrom Eating Out Awards offer an exciting way to discover new places that might just be your new favourite place to eat. Maybe the perfect gluten-free Sunday roast, maybe a decadent dessert that no other place offers, maybe superb service and safety together with a great menu.
Already this year a Pathfinder Award had been given to Indigo. Indigo is the Michelin star restaurant at which the Head Chef converted the entire menu to be gluten and dairy free initially without telling anyone. After consistently great feedback the *secret* was revealed and ever since Indigo has served as an inspiration for other restaurateurs and a go-to venue for both Free From and non Free From diners alike.
Amongst the 2016 shortlist are several venues that I have reviewed and loved, including the incredible Farmstand, lovely La Polenteria and deliverer of many types of gluten and dairy free ice cream, Yorica! If you combine the number of healthy, tasty buffet bar meal combinations from Farmstand with the number of ice cream and topping choices available at Yorica! you have well over 100,00, crazy! Further research is needed to find the very best.
There are also places that I have not visited and simply must, such as the very newly opened Nutkin Cafe and The Willow. I will definitely explore some of these and propose them as Meetups for the London Gluten-Free Club soon.
Over the coming weeks diligent judges will be visiting the 2016 Awards candidates incognito. Winners will be announced at Food Matters Live on 22 November. Have you already visited any of these places? Which deserve to win? Are any missing from the list? Encourage them to enter next year!