And here is the winner!!! Tracy Kane of Community Foods (who represent Orgran in the UK) with Marble Mo who they won for their Vegan Easy Egg.
And here is the Easy Egg, with its new friend, Marble Mo who, I hope you note, for the ceremony wore a scarf to blend with the Easy Egg’s colours. And if you are surprised by the winner – so were our judges!
‘You cannot be serious – an egg replacer!!! But they are AWFUL….’ But they had to eat their words – along with their Easy Egg scrambled eggs and omelettes. The Easy Egg scrambled eggs and omelettes really did look and taste as though they had been cooked with real live eggs. So a real game changer for egg allergics who normally do pretty poorly in the freefrom market place.
But the Easy Egg was not the only show stopper. There really were some great products. The Ugo Thrive fresh filled raviolini for example. Tiny squares of gluten-free pasta filled with pumpkin and non dairy mozzarella – and free of all top 14 allergens! Fresh filled pasta is hard to make at the best of times, but when it is also not just gluten free but free if all top 14 – and tastes great – and is even a reasonable price.
Or the Tesco chocolate eclairs – not just gluten free but with a dairy free filing and dairy free milk chocolate on top…
Or the long life soya milk portions. Don’t sound that exciting but if you cannot drink milk and you have been stuck on a train desperate for a cuppa, you would willing have killed for one of these.
Or the almond milk yogurt from Nush. Yes, we have all done the coconut bit – that is now old hat. This is a live almond milk yogurt… And they have cashew nut range as well.
Or the Jake’s Boost Tiger Boost Snack pot! A mini pot of tiger nut butter with dehydrated bananas to eat it on….
I could go on – but I won’t as, if you were just to nip over to the FreeFrom Food Awards site, you could indulge yourself to the full with all 23 categories!! Because this blog is meant to be about the people, the gossip – and THE BLOUSE….
Well here are the MOST important people: Sarah, queen of the judging stores rooms (on the left), Kate, queen of the judging kitchen (on the right) and Cressida, queen of everything (in the middle) with Nathalie who everyone will know from her many newsletter appearances, in the background.
And here is what Cressida had to say to the assembled throngs…
And here are the totally delightful ladies from the Wildcraft bakery, Sam and Mina, having just heard that they had won the Start Up category (as well as getting a gold in the Bread category) and were going to get a year’s mentoring courtesy of Tesco!
Tweeting about their win – and indeed everyone else’s – although with some difficulty as the wifi was not behaving, was Hannah. As you may know, Hannah had to leave us about a month ago to get a full time job (sadly our book venture has to yet grown not the point where it could afford a full time editor) but she did offer to come back and do the awards Live Tweet – which was hugely appreciated!
Showing off the FFFA logo around the buffet was our 2018 FreeFrom hero, Jacqui McPeake who was, until she left six weeks ago, catering manager at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Jacqui was inspired, I am happy to say, by a talk I gave a couple of years ago at TUCO, The University Caterers Organisation. I was explaining why their first terms at university were the most dangerous times for young people with allergies or coeliac disease: the first time they have been away from home and having to deal with their food issues themselves, in a totally strange and somewhat scary environment and not wanting to appear weird because of their ‘funny’ diet. And that university caterers could play a really important role in helping them settle in safely.
Jacqui picked up on this and ran with it with a vengeance. Within a month she had all members of her department giving up one food or ingredient for a month so that they learned what it was like to live without milk or gluten or nuts or eggs! And now she has left MMU to set up a consultancy of her own so that she can spread the word far out beyond MMU to all of the other universities to whom allergic and coeliac students are likely to apply.
There are lots of picture of all the other winners here if you want a peek and the ‘official’ video of interviews with the winners and some of the others involved will be up on the Food Awards site here by tomorrow. But if you want a quick butchers at the buffet….
Here is our youngest guest checking out some brownies made with Doves Farm’s awards winning flour –
And here is another guest photographing what looks like Tesco’s breaded cod fillets – but obviously very happy about it!
And here is the lovely Tim Mottin of FODMAP Friendly in Australia, sponsors of our new FODMAP category, talking to Anila and Dan Vaghela of Anila’s sauces, winners of the category.
We were hugely impressed and flattered that Tim had actually come all 30 hours of the way from Australia just to be with us on Tuesday!!! And was flying all 30 hours of the way back on Thursday! Now that really is devotion to the cause.
For those of you who are a bit dubious about the future of FODMAPs, Tim reckons that we have seen nothing yet and that in a few years, low FODMAP will be bigger than gluten free. Well, Australia is the home of FODMAP so I guess he should know. (And if anyone is struggling with exactly what low FODMAP is, there are a whole selection of articles on the Foodsmatter site which will enlighten you.)
But, whatever about FODMAPS, or the buffet, or the winners – what about THE BLOUSE???
OK – so what’s the big deal? Pretty white blouse with some sequins on it…
Well, I’ll have you know, that blouse was made by my mother’s own fair hands many more-years-than-I-am-prepared-to-count ago….. I was in my late teens and she was not impressed with the ‘party’ clothes on offer. So she decided to make me this blouse from some very fine off white sequinned sari material. And a fabulous job she made of it. Any dressmakers amongst you – look closely at the neck and the cuffs.
She cut out the sequinned leaves and appliquéd them as a ‘collar’ and ‘cuffs’ around the neck and the sleeves. And because sequinned chiffon would be entirely impossible to machine, the whole blouse was hand sewn with the appliquéd leaves sewn through a very thin backing fabric which was then cut out around them. No mean feat…
Did it get worn? Well, once for a portrait photograph but that was it. In my defence, what cool nineteen year old wants to wear a white chiffon sequinned blouse when she could be wearing self-embroidered flared jeans (my passion at the time I think).
So there it sat, decade after decade, in my wardrobe along with the many vintage clothes that I have inherited either from my earlier self or from others who know that I squirrel them. Until last week when I was checking out what I thought I was going to wear for this year’s awards. I noticed it under another, even older, blouse and thought – well maybe I should just try it on…..
So, Grandma – your blouse has finally seen glory! And I do hope that you were looking down from a cloud somewhere and heard all the appreciation that your work received from those who saw it in the flesh. I am just sorry that as a callow teenager I was not more appreciative…
Meanwhile…. Back to the awards. If any of you would like to see the culminating moments and the announcement of who would get to host Marble Mo of the next year, watch below.
If any of you want to see the whole thing (although I am certainly not expecting you to!) – see the home page of the Awards site – third image down.