Guild of Food Writers Awards 2016

What are the Guild of Food Writers Awards?

The Guild of Food Writers Awards recognise outstanding achievement in areas where food writers work and have influence. They are awarded annually and are the only awards judged entirely by professional food writers, editors and broadcasters. The Guild Awards were inaugurated in 1996 and reflect the Guild's commitment to encouraging new and established food writers.

The deadline for entries for the Guild Awards 2016 has now passed.


What are the categories?

There are 11 categories as follows:

British Food Award
Sponsored by Aspall

This award goes to the writer or broadcaster whose entry contributes most to promoting British food; the work may be specialised or wide-ranging, text-led or recipe-led, and can be broadcast, online or in print. This is awarded in memory of Michael Smith, a great supporter of British foods and traditions.

Campaigning and Investigative Food Work Award

This award highlights the importance of food writers in the field of food policy. Entries could include, for instance, work informing the public about agricultural and manufacturing processes, or campaigning to raise standards in the food supply chain. It is open to work in broadcasting as well as print and online, and to works by single authors or by organisations. 
This is awarded in memory of Derek Cooper, the Guild's first president.

Cookery Book Award 
Sponsored by hillfarm oils

Recipes and, if appropriate, the practicalities of cooking should be the main focus of entries to this award. The subject may be any cuisine, historical period, specific ingredient or diet.

Cookery Writing Award 
Sponsored by Gold Top

This award goes to the writer of the best recipe-led work published in a magazine, newspaper or newspaper supplement or on the internet. Material may be nominated only if the author has been commissioned and paid for the work and it is not self-published. Five pieces should be submitted. This is awarded in memory of Evelyn Rose, a former Guild Chair.

First Book Award

Sponsored by Virginia Wine

This award is given to a writer of any age, provided that the entry is his or her first cookery book or food book. 
This is awarded in memory of Jeremy Round, a talented food writer and restaurant critic, and author of The Independent Cook.

Food and Travel Award

Sponsored by Tebay Services and Gloucester Services

This award is for a writer or broadcaster who has best captured both the atmosphere and the food of the places described, and shows an understanding of culture and context. It is open to work in broadcasting, online or in print. 
This is awarded in memory of Kate Whiteman, a Guild committee member who loved to travel.

Food Blog Award 
Sponsored by Encona

This award recognises the particular skill and dedication required to create and maintain a brilliantly written food blog. Blogs are eligible if they are written by up to two individuals who may or may not write professionally. They may be text- or recipe-led and will be judged on the basis of five posts, to which the nominator should provide links.

Food Book Award 
Sponsored by Lakeland

Entries for this award may be a biography, a historical study, or a study of the gastronomy or food culture of one or more cities, countries or regions; it could be a guidebook, encyclopaedia or compendium, even a technical handbook. Recipes, if they form part of the work, should serve to illuminate the text, rather than lead it.

Food Broadcast Award

This award recognises excellence in a television or radio programme. The entry may be a complete programme, series, or one part of a single programme. Where a series is nominated, the whole series should be supplied, and a single programme should be nominated for juries to consider in the first instance.

Food Magazine or Section Award 
Sponsored by Tenderstem®

Must-read food magazines and sections combine excellent writing and design, and are the result of skilled editing. This award is given to the editorial team responsible for magazines and periodicals which take food as their main subject and are published four or more times a year, or food sections comprising a collection of articles. Online nominations should have clearly-defined issues or food sections which are emailed or made available to subscribers as a collection of content published together on the same date. The award is judged on the basis of four magazines or sections.

Food Writing Award 
Sponsored by SuperFast Thermapen®

This award is given for the best food-related articles or restaurant reviews published in print or online. The work may contain recipes, but recipes should not form the bulk of the text. Material may be nominated only if the author has been commissioned and paid for the work and it is not self-published. Five pieces should be submitted.

Special awards

The Guild Committee may at its discretion make one or more Special Awards. To nominate someone for a special award, write to the Awards Co-ordinator. For further information about specific awards, please email

How do I enter?

The online entry form must be completed by midnight on Tuesday 9 February 2016 for entries to be eligible. You may nominate work in as many categories as you wish, but you must complete a separate online entry form for each nomination.

You may nominate your own or someone else's work. In either case, you are responsible for deciding in which category or categories it is to be entered, but jury leaders may at their discretion reallocate works to a different category. In this event, the nominator will be required to supply copies of the work to the new jury. If you are uncertain as to which category work should be entered, please contact the Awards Co-ordinators for advice (

You are also responsible for ensuring that a total of six complete copies of the material being entered are delivered to:

  • each of the five jurors for that category
  • the Awards Co-ordinator

The names and addresses or email addresses of members of the jury for the relevant award will be sent to you upon receipt of the application form. All Awards communications and nominated work must be clearly marked with the relevant category and nominator's details.

Whoever completes the entry form is responsible for making sure that copies of the work(s) are despatched in good time for jurors to receive them by Friday 19 February 2016, regardless of who is despatching them. The Guild regrets that if entries arrive late, the work cannot be considered for the awards. With the exception of books, juries prefer to receive links to or pdfs of the nominated work whenever possible.

The Guild Awards celebrate the UK's best food writing. Where entries are a collaborative effort, the Guild asks that those nominating the work, be they authors or publishers, acknowledge this on the application form.

How are the awards judged?

For each award category, the Committee of the Guild of Food Writers appoints a jury leader. The remaining four jurors are selected at random from the Guild membership. No jurors may have any of their own work entered in the category they are judging. The recipient of each award is (are) the writer(s) or presenter(s) of, or in the case of the Magazine or Section Award, the editorial team behind, the winning work. No discussion or correspondence, outside the meetings of the juries, will be entered into. The juries' decisions are final.

How will I know who has won?

The shortlisted writers or broadcasters will normally be notified by telephone or email as soon as possible after judging has finished, usually during May. Anyone who does not give either a telephone number or an email address will be notified by post. The shortlist will also be published on the Guild's website.

The winners of each prize will be announced at the Guild of Food Writers Awards ceremony sponsored by Scotch Beef PGI on Wednesday 22 June 2016 at Opera Holland Park.

Is there a prize?

The winning entry in each category will receive a prize of £500 and an engraved glass trophy.


Scotch Beef PGI
(Main sponsor of the Awards)

Logo for Scotch Beef“Scotch Beef PGI is delighted to be supporting the Guild of Food Writers awards event.

Scotch Beef PGI, which has earned a global reputation for taste and quality, is sourced from Scottish farms which must adopt best practice regarding animal welfare and production methods. Farms and processors are independently audited and Scotch Beef PGI is fully traceable back to farms of origin.

Family farming remains at the heart of sheep and cattle production in Scotland and sustains rural communities throughout the country. Livestock production also plays an important part in the biodiversity of upland habitats and the focus is on beef breeds farmed to produce beef, rather than milk.

Scotland’s livestock production systems are based on free-ranging animals grazing at low stocking densities. Permanent grass and rough grazing account for 71% of Scottish agricultural area – this is largely unsuitable for vegetable or cereal production but ideal for cattle and sheep grazing.

Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb PGI were also among the first European red meat products to be granted the coveted PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status in recognition of their quality standards and unique regional taste.”

You can find out more about Scotch Beef PGI at; on Twitter: @scotchkitchen and @qmscotland; on Facebook: Enjoy Quality Meat.

(Sponsor of the British Food Award)

Logo for Aspall“Our family cyder-making business was established in 1728 by Clement Chevallier from Jersey. He planted the orchards at Aspall Hall in Suffolk and imported a granite wheel from the Isles de Chaussée off the Normandy coast to crush the apples.

The Chevallier family still live and work among Clement’s orchards and today Aspall is run by the eighth generation of the family, Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild. Aspall is the tenth oldest family businesses in the UK.

Generations of Chevalliers used Clement’s method of pressing until 1947, when the last horse pulling the wheel around the trough passed away. Although our production has moved with the times, our cyder is still pressed, fermented and blended and bottled on site in Suffolk to the same exacting standards set by Clement nearly 300 years ago.

Today our very British world-class cyders, cyder vinegars and apple juice enjoy increasingly global acclaim for quality and excellence.

We’re delighted to support the Guild of Food Writers British Food Award.”

You can find out more about Aspall at; on Twitter: @aspall; on Facebook: AspallUK; on Instagram: @aspalluk.

(Sponsor of the Food Blog Award)

Logo for Encona“Banish the Bland with the UK's number one hot pepper sauce brand!

Encona is proud to be sponsoring this award for the second year running. The UK's number one hot pepper sauce brand has expanded and now has over 20 delicious sauces to enjoy with family and friends. Alongside the West Indian Original Hot Pepper Sauce, you can enjoy a variety of authentic flavours from across the globe, which now also includes Peruvian Amarillo Chilli and Mexican Smokey Jalapeno Sauce. Ranging from mild to extra hot, there's something for everyone.

Encona Sauces are wonderfully versatile. Great as a dipping sauce, a marinade, a cooking ingredient or as a delicious, everyday table sauce for all your favourite foods! Drizzle on to stir-fries, rice dishes, dips and salad dressings. Brush onto food during grilling or barbecuing, and stir into soups and stews.

Encona has also introduced a spicy and fragrant marinade range consisting of Jamaican Jerk, Korean BBQ and Moroccan Harissa.

Try the flavours and Banish the Bland!”

For more info about the sauces and marinades, go to the website Twitter @EnconaOfficial. Facebook: Encona Sauces.

Gold Top
(Sponsor of the Cookery Writing Award)

Logo for Gold Top“Gold Top with Cream at the Top

Established in Buckinghamshire in 1954, QMP was set up in association with milk producers throughout the country to market and promote their new brand, Gold Top.

The Gold Top selection stands for premium quality and superior taste, it is this quality, alongside our high end service, which makes us stand out from our competitors.

The original Gold Top Milk is made the traditional Guernsey and Jersey way with the cream on the top, and tastes delicious, the luxurious Gold Top Smooth is a variation whereby the indulgent cream is blended evenly throughout the entire bottle. The Gold Top family includes, butter, cream, ice cream amongst others.

QMP are set to make an even greater impact through increased promotion. Sponsoring several shows throughout the year, such as The Dairy Event, Royal Cornwall, The Great Yorkshire Show amongst others and regionalised smaller We are looking into doing food shows over the next 18 months by undertaking joint ventures with Grahams Dairy our current licence holder. We are also sponsoring The Jersey Society World Tour in 2016, which will tour around the UK and Ireland.”

hillfarm oils
(Sponsor of the Cookery Book Award)

Logo for hillfarm oils

“hillfarm oils produce a delicious premium extra virgin oil made from British rapeseed grown and pressed on their farm in Suffolk. 

hillfarm oil has been grown, pressed and bottled on Clare and Sam Fair’s farm since 2004. People are now hooked on its nutty flavour, versatility in the kitchen as well as its nutritional benefits. Fans include Mark Hix, who says ‘I'm still a big fan of the Hillfarm as its flavour has an appealing freshness and, of course, that fantastically bright yellow colour, so evocative of the fields of rape flowers that we see in the British countryside each summer.’

Farming in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive way is extremely important to hillfarm. Great care is taken to encourage the diversity of flora and fauna on the farm and work with nature to improve the population of beneficial insects. We love our bees so take great care not to harm them in any way one have just launched a hillfarm honey from hives on the farm. The solar panels on our barn roof produce all the energy we need to drive the presses that produce the oil and some spare to put into the National Grid.

As well as the oil, hillfarm produce mayonnaise which won the ultimate three gold stars in the 2015 Great Taste Awards, and garlic mayonnaise. hillfarm’s rehydrating hand-wash and revitalising hand-cream make the most of rapeseed oil’s high Omega 3, 6 and Vitamin E content to soothe and moisturise your hands.

Sam and Clare Fairs say ‘We’re delighted to support the Guild of Food Writers Awards for the second time this year and excited to be part of this great celebration of food writing.’”

You can find out more about hillfarm oils at; on Twitter: @hillfarmoils.

(Sponsor of the Food Book Award)

Logo for Lakeland

“Lakeland, the home of creative kitchenware was founded over 50 years ago in the heart of the Lake District. From humble beginnings this family owned business is now a multi-national, multi-channel retailer offering millions of customers over 4000 quality, ‘can’t live without’ products for the kitchen and home. Lakeland is constantly looking for ground-breaking innovations and ideas to add to their extensive range to ensure that their customers have everything they need to create delicious, healthy meals at home and handy time savers to make life just that little bit easier.

Customers can shop using the Lakeland catalogue, by phone, online, click and collect service or by visiting one of their 69 stores up and down the country. Lakeland offer over 500 free recipes online and you’ll also discover regular in-store demonstrations in many of their stores.

No matter how you shop, Lakeland’s knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer expert advice and ideas and of course all of their products are backed by Lakeland’s famous satisfaction guarantee!”

For more information, visit; on Twitter: @LakelandUK; on Facebook:; on Instagram: @lakelanduk; on Pinterest: lakelanduk; on YouTube: LakelandTV.

SuperFast Thermapen®
(Sponsor of the Food Writing Award)

Logo for SuperFast Thermapen

“A favourite kitchen essential of many celebrity chefs and professional cooks, the SuperFast Thermapen® is made in Britain by ETI Ltd, the UK’s leader in the manufacture and design of electronic thermometers and temperature probes and recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in both 2012 and 2014.

The Thermapen gives an accurate temperature reading in just three seconds. Stylish and easy to use and available in a range of stunning colours, it’s a must-have for all kitchens; whether you are a professional chef, technical baker, or just want to enjoy meat that is both succulent and cooked safely at home.

The Thermapen 4 – New for 2016, includes a patented 360° self-rotating display that can be used in any position, in either hand. The unit incorporates an intelligent backlit display sensing light levels, automatically turning the backlight on/off in varying light conditions, perfect for evening catering events, or where light is poor. The motion-sensing sleep mode automatically turns the unit on/off when set down or picked up, maximising battery life. The Thermapen case is waterproof and includes `Biomaster’ additive that reduces bacterial growth. The ergonomic rubber seal meanwhile minimises the risk of the ingress of water, dust or food.”

You can find out more about Thermapen 4 at; on Twitter: @thermapen_; on Facebook: SuperFast Thermapen Thermometer.

Tebay Services and Gloucester Services
(Sponsor of the Food and Travel Award)

Logo for Tebay Services“The Westmorland story began in 1972 when the Dunnings, local farmers, set up Tebay Services after the M6 cut through their farm. It was the first family-run motorway service station on the UK road network. Forty years on the business is still family owned, still farming and still with a fierce passion for, and a pride in, the landscape, people, environment and its products. Gloucester Services Northbound opened in May 2014 with the Southbound services completed a year later.

In essence, Tebay Services and Gloucester Services are food businesses, with quality, locally-sourced food at the very heart of the enterprise. Tebay Services and Gloucester Services are a refreshingly different breed of motorway services – no chains, no franchises, no fast food on the forecourt. Instead, Logo for Gloucester Servicesfarm shops stocked with locally produced food, a butchery featuring local meat, kitchens (cafés) serving homemade dishes created from locally-sourced produce every day. Gloucester Services works with over 130 local suppliers within 30 miles of the services and 70 producers from across the South West. Tebay Services works with a similar number of suppliers in addition to using lamb and beef from the Dunning family farm in the fells surrounding the services.

Proper food matters, so we serve it where you least expect it, on the motorway.”

You can find out more about Tebay Services at and Gloucester Services at; on Twitter @tebayservices and @glouc_services.

(Sponsor of the Food Magazine or Section Award)

Logo for Tenderstem“Whether you’re preparing a fiery stir-fry or looking for a delicate accompaniment to a perfect piece of fish, Tenderstem® is an inspiring ingredient that’s sure to bring personality to the dish. A cross between Chinese kale and regular broccoli, Tenderstem® is quick to cook, full of flavour and incredibly versatile. 

Tenderstem® happily adds colour and flavour to a huge range of dishes. It has a mild, distinctive flavour and a succulent texture more akin to asparagus than traditional broccoli. As the name suggests, Tenderstem® is tender from floret to stem so you can eat the whole vegetable, unlike ordinary broccoli, which tends to have a thicker, and sometimes woody, stem, so there’s no waste.

A study by Warwick University’s Horticultural Research Institute has shown Tenderstem® contains twice the amount of vitamin C as the equivalent weight of fresh oranges and has a higher concentration of vitamin C than both cauliflower and cabbage. It also contains one of the highest levels of folic acid compared to other members of the brassica family. The study also revealed Tenderstem® is 25-30% more tender than purple sprouting broccoli and the most tender variety of broccoli on the market, meaning it requires less cooking than any other form of broccoli, which means it retains a higher proportion of nutrients when cooked.”

You can find out more about Tenderstem® at; on Twitter: @tenderstem; on Facebook:; on Pinterest:

Virginia Wine
(Sponsor of the First Book Award)

Logo for Virginia Wine“‘Recently, when I’m asked if I’ve discovered any new world-class vineyard regions, I’m quite likely to say yes, one of the oldest in America – Virginia’ (Oz Clarke, 250 Best Wines Wine Buying Guide 2012).

Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Bordeaux-style blends are proving to be the strengths of the Virginia wine region. Over the past 30 years the number of wineries in Virginia has grown from just a handful to more than 220. These wineries are located on the East Coast of the US in stunning locations near the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, the verdant Shenandoah Valley, and along the edge of the sparkling Chesapeake Bay.

Through hard work, knowledge and skills of home-grown talent, augmented by winemakers from around the world, elegant, food-friendly wines are being produced that have captured the attention of UK wine lovers.”

You can find out more about Virginia Wine at

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by Sue Lawrence
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