delicious. Produce Awards judgesFind our more about the food experts who will be judging the 2016 Produce Awards

SCOTLAND

Nick Nairn
Nick is a well-known Scottish chef, food consultant, TV presenter and spokesperson on diet, healthy eating and Scottish produce. His main motivation is spreading the word about Scotland’s wonderful natural larder and how to use it well.

 

Sue Lawrence
Cookery writer and author Sue lives in Edinburgh, having trained as a journalist in Dundee. She has written15 cookery books including Sue Lawrence’s Book of Baking and A Cook’s Tour of Scotland. She specialises in traditional Scottish food and baking and has written for various newspapers and magazines since winning BBC MasterChef in 1991. 

 

Fiona Burrell (Scotland)
Fiona Burrell is the founder of The Edinburgh New Town Cookery School and a keen promoter of Scotland’s produce. A former principal of Leith’s School of Food and Wine, she was a contributor to many of its best loved cookbooks, including Leiths Cookery Bible, and is a member of the Guild of Food Writers.

 

 

NORTH EAST

Kenny Atkinson
Multi-Michelin starred chef Kenny Atkinson found success at restaurants St Martin’s on the Isle and Kenny Atkinson at the White Room at Seaham Hall before returning to his home city of Newcastle upon Tyne, where his restaurant  House of Tides was awarded a Michelin star in 2015. Kenny is a well known face on BBC programmes Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen.

Annie Stirk
Annie’s career in food has included teaching, lecturing and nearly 20 years of presenting and producing food items and cookery shows on radio and TV. Annie now runs her own specialist food PR agency in North Yorkshire, Absolutely Food. She’s a member of the Guild of Food Writers and is a regular food festival host and presenter.

Belinda Williams
With her husband Terry, Belinda runs Yorkshire Provender. Belinda was brought up in the Yorkshire Dales, where good food and food production have long been central to her life through farming, family and community. She began cooking as a child and knew from an early age that she would live her life and support herself through food.

NORTH WEST 

Simon Rogan
The highly regarded chef and his partner Penny Tapsell opened L’Enclume, a restaurant with rooms, in Cartmel, in the southern Lake District, in 2002, followed by Rogan & Company, also in Cartmel, in May 2008. Since 2009, Simon has had his own 12-acre natural farm just outside Cartmel, where he grows vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers. In 2012 he also established Aulis, his research and development facility adjacent to L’Enclume, which allows the chefs to create and develop the dishes they serve to guests as part of an interactive dining experience. 

Carol Wilson
Carol is a member of the Guild of Food Writers and contributes to several publications in the UK, Ireland and the USA. She was on the UK Jury for the Slow Food Awards and a judge for the Northwest Producer of the Year Awards, the International Chocolate Awards and the Academy of Chocolate Awards.

 

Jenny Thompson
Jenny was one of the founding directors of Atlas Bar and, later, Atlas Delicatessen in Manchester in the early 1990s. Fast forward to 2015, Jenny re-imagined Altrincham Market with partner Nick and, in a short time, the market has developed a national reputation for food, producers and makers – culminating in winning Best Market in the Observer Food Monthly Awards.

EAST AND WEST MIDLANDS

Glynn Purnell
Glynn owns and runs Michelin starred Purnell’s in Birmingham, Ginger’s Bar and Purnell’s Bistro. Glynn has won dozens of awards for his inspired, adventurous cooking but has remained firmly rooted in his home city. He was awarded Birmingham’s first Michelin star in January 2005 as head chef at Jessica’s. Glynn’s first book Cracking Yolks and Pig Tales was published by Kyle Books in May 2014, and his next book will be published in September 2016.

 

Alison Swan Parente
Alison founded the Welbeck Bakehouse in 2008 and the School of Artisan Food in 2009. She learned about cooking from her mother, her friends, her Italian husband and her library of cookbooks, and about education from her years of working with young people. 

 

Rachel Green
Chef Rachel Green has contributed to many television programmes and BBC radio shows, in addition to be an in-demand demonstrator at food fairs across the UK. A member of a family from Lincolnshire with a long farming history, Rachel has fronted campaigns promoting British produce and published the cookbook ‘Sausages: Making the Most of the Great British Sausage’.

 

LONDON AND SOUTH EAST

Jenny Linford
Jenny is a London-based freelance food writer and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. She has long championed independent food shops and food producers in her writing, including her books Food Lovers’ London, a cosmopolitan guide to the capital’s food shops, and Great British Cheeses, celebrating British cheesemakers. Her journalism has appeared in numerous publications including delicious., the Financial Times, the National Trust magazine and The Simple Things. 

 

Rosalind Rathouse 
Rosalind has over 50 years of teaching and cooking experience that she puts to good use at her Cookery School at Little Portland Street, which she founded in 2003. The school teaches people to cook good food with confidence through a sustainable, principle-led teaching approach with plenty of hands-on experience. Rosalind is committed to sustainability and Cookery School is the only school in London with 3 Stars from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Dan Lepard
Artisan baker, food writer, author and journalist, Dan is one of the world’s most widely read and respected bakers. He has written numerous books on sweet and savoury baking, including The Handmade Loaf (Mitchell Beazley) and Short and Sweet (Fourth Estate). He writes a baking monthly column in The Sydney Morning Herald, is the baking go-to guy on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, and is a food presenter on BBC radio. 

EASTERN ENGLAND

Galton Blackiston
Galton is the chef patron of Morston Hall Hotel in North Norfolk. Galton was born in Norfolk and never trained formally as a chef, learning his craft in restaurants around the world. The restaurant at the hotel has been awarded with a Michelin star and three AA rosettes.

Polly Robinson
Polly founded food and drink experiences business Food Safari in 2008 to take the public and media on a behind-the-scenes field-to-fork experiences with food and drink producers in Suffolk and London. Food Safari soon received national acclaim and widespread national press and TV coverage. In 2012 Food Safari won UK Cookery School Awards – Best Day Course/Food experience.

Tracey Barker
East Anglian-based food writer Tracey’s quest for championing the finest in local fare reached its zenith when she collated a monthly 12-page food section for an award-winning regional magazine. Tracey has also worked in food technology and as a professional sensory profiler, advising on ingredient formulations of a wide range of foods from custard-filled biscuits to bacon cures, and subsequently she likes to think she knows her onions.

 

SOUTH WEST

Mary Macneal 
Mary has worked within the regional food arena for many years, including working at Food from Britain and helping supermarkets to find new regional and speciality foods to put on their shelves. She is the director of Mad for Food, which develops routes to market for a wide range of UK food producers. Mary is also a Somerset beef farmer with an Aberdeen Angus suckler herd.

Charlie Turnbull
Charlie grew up in Surrey, in a farming family that raised lamb and beef. A dedicated fromage-o-phile, he now lives in Shaftesbury, Dorset, where he runs Turnbulls, a deli and cheesemonger. He is also a judge for the Great Taste Awards and World Cheese Awards as well as teaching cheese, charcuterie and retail skills to food retailers and other professionals.

Jane Baxter 
Jane trained at the legendary restaurant The Carved Angel in Dartmouth under well regarded chef Joyce Molyneux before moving to the River Cafe in London. In 2005 she set up the acclaimed Riverford Field Kitchen in Buckfastleigh, Devon, and she currently runs food and event company Wild Artichokes, based in Devon.

 

WALES

Shaun Hill 
Shaun, one of Britain’s most highly regarded chefs, started cooking professionally at Robert Carrier’s restaurant in London in the late 1960s and has worked at the Gay Hussar in Soho and at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge. In December 2007 he reopened the famed restaurant The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny (once run by chef and fellow Produce Awards judge Franco Taruschio, see below), where he holds a Michelin star.

Lindy Wildsmith 
Award-winning food writer Lindy believes in seasonal ingredients and supporting local producers and businesses. Her love of nature has inspired books on drinks, preserving and curing. She is fluent in Italian, having spent many years living and working in Rome and Bologna, and specialises in regional Italian food. She teaches at Denman, the WI Cookery School, the School of Artisan Food and runs her own cookery courses in Wales. 

 

Elisabeth Luard
Much-lauded food writer and broadcaster Elisabeth Luard has lived and worked in Latin America, Spain, Italy and France, inspiring her books ‘The Food and Spain of Portugal’ and ‘The Latin American Kitchen’ among other titles. Now based in Wales, Elisabeth is a regular contributor to publications such as Country Life and the Daily Telegraph. Her most recent cookbook ‘A Cook’s Year in a Welsh Farmhouse’ was published in 2012. Her food memoir, Squirrel Pie and Other Stories, is due out in April 2016.

 

NORTHERN IRELAND

Derek Creach 
Donegal born and bred, Derek trained as a chef in Edinburgh before moving to London where he worked with some of the finest chefs in the UK. He returned to Ireland in 2004 and joined Deanes Restaurant in Belfast as Head Chef, where he stayed until March 2010. Returning to his Donegal roots, Derek joined Harry’s Bar & Restaurant in Bridgend in April 2014, then worked with proprietor Donal Doherty to open Harry’s Shack in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, in August 2014. In October 2015, Harry’s Shack won Best Newcomer in Food and Drink at The Observer Food Monthly Awards. 

Sophie Rasmussen 
Sophie Rasmussen, Director of Folktown Community Interest Company, helped to set up the new Folktown Market in Belfast. The market promotes local artisan products and handmade crafts, and was set up to help small traders and start-ups and to boost the local economy.

Paula McIntyre
Paula is a chef, broadcaster and food writer. She hosts a cooking slot every Saturday morning on BBC Radio Ulster and has contributed to other shows on the station as well as being a panellist on The Kitchen Cabinet on Radio 4. She is Northern Ireland Director of Slow Food UK and coordinator of the Slow Food Chef Alliance in NI. She has written two books – A Kitchen Year published in 2008 and Down to Earth Cookbook in late 2015. 

 

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