BBC Future Food Award
We won the BBC Future Food Award! Which was a bonus as our plus ones for the event were our mums! To be honest we were thrilled enough with being considered for nomination after receiving the phone call back in May from Sheila Dillon, The BBC Food Programme host on BBC Radio 4 who informed us that we had been shortlisted with two other sustainable businesses; Islander Kelp and Seed Cooperative for the award.
The night of the BBC Food and Farming Awards soon approached at City Hall in our hometown Bristol! The main foyer was heaving with passionate food lovers, chefs and businesses who want to make the food landscape more sustainable and accessible to all.
We maintained a professional presence as our social media manager stumbled (literally) into the guys from BOSH, the largest vegan channel in the world, knocking their drinks all over their companion. To be fair she was on route towards the canapés! But it was a happy accident as it turns out they wanted to connect with us for a colab anyway!
The crowd was ushered to the conference hall for the ceremony hosted by Sheila Dillon and Giorgio Locatelli. We saw worthy winners such as Hodmedods who won Best Food Producer and Wild Beer Co winners of Best Drinks Produce collect their awards and the lifetime achievement award went to Patrick Holden of the Sustainable Food Trust.
When The Future Food Award was up, we braced ourselves as a film on each of the three businesses was screened. It was BBC broadcaster, food and science author Stefan Gates who announced the winner but not before a little Future Food segment of his own.
Stefan described his journey investigating edible insects as small pots were handed around to the audience. Inside each one was; a crunchy cricket, a fat bottomed ant and a pink marshmallow made from cochineal bug blood. Having not eaten all day and then travelling up from London these were very welcome little ‘treats’. The insects were crunchy, salty and nutty and a nod towards more sustainable ways of providing nutrition in a world of food waste, disappearing rainforests and a growing population. Insects are much more sustainable to produce than beef, and provide more protein, twice the omega 3 and seven times more fibre… so what are you waiting for? Get your crunchy crickets on!
After the creepy crawly and rather nail biting interlude, Stefan said those magic words; “the winner of the BBC Future Food Award is Growing Underground!” it all happened in slow motion and even walking up to the stage we were thinking, “hang on – did he say us??” yet we were already there so if he hadn’t, it was a bit late to turn back!
We gratefully received the pretty hefty ‘chopping board’ award in a blur, before being whisked away backstage for interviews. Needless to say our mums were over the moon too and took a few selfies with our award that night. As the ceremony came to an end, the night continued with delicious little pots of spiced cabrito goat courtesy of Cabrito – nominee for Best Food Producer. Scrumptious cheese and onion tart canapés also circulated the room along with some pretty punchy drinks courtesy of nominees from the Best Drinks Producer category. Exotic flavours from Wild Beer Co., Asterley Bros smokey citrusy amaro and Oliver’s Cider and Perry fruity ciders!
We got to meet some inspirational people who are doing some pretty amazing things in food and sustainability and it was warming to see everyone supporting each other’s businesses. We cannot thank those enough who nominated us for the Future Food Award via the BBC Food Programme on BBC Radio 4. And of course the BBC judges who ultimately made the decision including John Vincent CEO of Leon and Mike Stones BBC Food and Drink journalist. But really it’s our fantastic team down on our farm who have made this possible, with their hard work, relentless support and excitement for the business. Guys this award is really for you! ?