When it comes to food there is no higher accolade than the approval of the chef. So with this in mind you can understand why William Reed have launched their inaugural Chef’s Choice Awards with the strapline – ‘judged by chefs for chefs’.

In partnership with their flagship titles Restaurant Magazine, The Grocer, The MA, Food Manufacturer and their insight division MCA, the awards set out to recognise quality products across the foodservice sector. The headline sponsor for this, the first year of these awards, was Jellybean client and respected food and drink innovation consultants Food Innovation Solutions and their sister research company Good Sense Research. The judging criteria was developed with William Reed and Good Sense Research and the judging was carried out at FIS’s development kitchen in bustling Waterloo by a highly regarded panel of chefs from across the industry headed up by Mike Faers of FIS (pictured).

The moment of truth came on Tuesday night when eager finalists along with the great and the good of the foodservice world congregated at the Haymarket Hotel to hear which products had passed muster with the chef judges. With 18 categories there was something for everyone, but the wholesalers dominated the evening, winning out across the majority of the categories. As the wine and conversation flowed in the elegant surroundings there were a lot of happy faces clutching their awards proudly. It will be interesting to see how this newcomer to the awards calendar develops next year and if brands, rather than own label, come back to fight their corner in 2018.

Well done to William Reed and especially to Joe Lutrario of Restaurant Magazine and Ellis Hawthorne of The Grocer for hosting the evening. To see the full list of winners and highly commended products on visit the awards website here.

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