Food Awards

If a tyre company can make a big name for itself sponsoring restaurant awards, then why not an accountancy firm sponsoring aspiring food businesses?

Accountants Garbutt + Elliott launched their first awards in 2018. Today they have announced the shortlist for this year’s ‘entrepreneurial food businesses’.  The judging panel includes the respected York food blogger York on a Fork and Yorkshire chef Stephanie Moon.

Winners will be announced on 7th March at a do at York’s Castle Museum. The shortlist has some cracking local businesses, many I had never come across. Here’s the shortlist:

One of the judges, chef Stephanie Moon

Best Innovation – sponsored by SIAFS

The Yorkshire Pudding Pie Company


Dine Delivered

Scotts Fish and Chips

‘Deliciouslyorkshire’ Taste Award – sponsored by Deliciouslyorkshire

Savoury Taste

Nukkad Indian Street Food

Yorkshire Born Yorkshire Fed

Wild Greens Farm

Chef Akila

Sweet Taste

Cedar Barn farm Shop and Cafe

Freaks of Nature


Hotham’s Gin School and Distillery

York Gin

Growth Business of the Year  sponsored by Urban Market

Cedar Barn farm Shop and Cafe

Minskip Farm Shop

Best Partnership  sponsored by the Yorkshire Food Guide

Birds On The Loose

Breckenholme Trading Company and Staal Smokehouse

York Gin and York Cocoa House

Young Business of the Year  sponsored by Made In Yorkshire

Fitch Brew Co Ltd

Kinoko Kombucha

York Gin

Cooper King

Leeds Cookery School

Best Yorkshire Exporter – sponsored by Department for International Trade

North Bar Ltd

Warrendale Farms

Best Yorkshire Brand – sponsored by Rollits

Hesper Skyr

Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil

York Gin


North Brewing

Binghams Food Ltd

Yorkshire Grit: Resilience Award

Bramhope Village Bakery

Mak Tok Ltd

Atom Beers



Chef Shaun Rankin heads to North Yorkshire

Shaun Rankin has been named executive chef at the new Grantley Hall Country House Hotel near Ripon. Quite a coup for owner Valeria Sykes who bought the neglected Palladian mansion in 2015 with a view to turning it into the best country house hotel in the north of England.


Having spent a large fortune on it – some £70 million, Grantley Hall will open in the spring with 47 bedrooms, four restaurants and a spa set to outdo all other spas. Why settle for a gym and a pool when you can have a snow room, an underwater treadmill, a cryotherapy chamber and a 3D body scanner.





Food and drink will be provided by three bars and four restaurants: Eighty Eight, the ‘playfully innovative’ Asian restaurant. Fletchers for casual dining, healthy eating in the spa and  ‘Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall’.


Shaun Rankin in case you’ve forgotten, was born in County Durham, brought up in Yorkshire and while he’s spent the majority of his career at Ormer in Jersey winning a Michelin star in 2017, he did have a stint at the Black Bull at Moulton in the early 90’s and is currently executive chef at Ormer in Mayfair’s Flemings Hotel, making guest appearances on Masterchef, Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen.


His role at Grantley is as ‘chef consultant’ which by my understanding means he will establish the character, create the menus and supervise a team though day to day cooking will be by a head chef yet to be named with Rankin flitting between North Yorks and Mayfair.


As for what’s cooking, they’ve quoted the usual stuff about regional and seasonal. They’ve announced the creation of a kitchen garden and beehives, both de rigeurfor any high dining restaurant and they’ve announced a signature dish of rhubarb crumble soufflé with rosehip and iced clotted cream but nothing more. With a reputation to uphold and room rate starting at £350 a night rising to £5000 for the Presidential Suite, it’s a fair bet that portions will be small, exquisite and tweezered. We’ll be reporting back when it opens.

Black Swan Guesting

We raved about Tommy Banks’ cooking at the Black Swan at Oldstead after we lunched there in the summer so we are happy to report he’s at the stove for a special guest night with Matthew Lockwood at Lockwoods of Ripon on 25 February.


Tommy_BanksTommy who is head chef at the Michelin starred restaurant has created a five course menu for the Lockwoods event.  They haven’t released the menu but his team have been planning it since December and you can safely assume it will be amazing.


Tickets are £60 a head plus drinks. To book go to or call 01765 607 555.

Good Food Guide

9780953798339There’s been a lot of excitement about the Man Behind the Curtain getting a Michelin star and deservedly so. We’ve championed Michael O’Hare since his early days in York. Now everyone wants to go and you won’t get a table on Saturday night until 2016! You can see why it’s so important to chefs.


The Good Food Guide doesn’t attract half so much attention, but for good places to eat, it’s streets ahead. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a Michelin Guide which is made up of signs and symbols, but my collection of the GFG goes back to the 1980s and it’s always a good read: honest, independent, sparky, opinionated.


Last year, Waitrose bought the  GFG from the Consumer Association. but the guide looks much the same and thankfully continues to take no advertising nor paid-for entries.


It’s wide ranging covering local gems like Zucco in Meanwood and top restaurants such as Man Behind the Curtain. We like it too because as well as professional inspectors, it holds a great deal of store by readers’ comments, so if you eat somewhere that deserves comment or criticism it’s important to let them know. They will act upon it.


Yorkshire is well represented with 67 entries. New this year:


Harrogate: Norse, La Feria, and Stuzzi

Helmsley: The Vine House Café

Hull: 1884 Dock Street

Leeds: The Man Behind the Curtain, Zucco,

Lower Dunsforth: The Dunsforth

Middleton Tyas: The Coach House

Sheffield: Lokanta

Todmorden: Blackbird

Wetherby: Mango

Withernwick: the Falcon

York: Cochon Aveugle

You can buy the Guide from bookshops and from Waitrose. But of course you can check ’em out on Squidbeak, we’ve got most of these covered (and more).


Fox & Hounds

We’ve raved about the Fox and Hounds at Goldsborough before. It remains our number one restaurant in Yorkshire and I was reminded just how good it was last night after a terrific dinner that began with crab linguini followed by turbot with heritage potatoes, courgettes, and tomato, finishing with white peaches in amaretto with crème fraiche.

It was simple, uncheffy, and absolute perfection. Jason Davies cooks like a dream and is utterly consistent. Mandy and I have been going there for years now and it has been spot on every time.

The Michelin inspector has been too – twice this year. We’ve written here about Michelin and their arcane system of star giving. It makes no odds to us whether the F & H get a star – we know what we like – but we concede it means a great deal to chefs, confirmation that their work is recognized at the highest level and it’s important to a restaurant like this in such a remote location because it brings in new customers. So for those reasons we’d love it if Michelin had the courage to award a star to Jason Davies.  Courage because Michelin doesn’t usually award them to small, unpretentious restaurants, tucked away on the Yorkshire coast, with minimal choice, unfussy cooking and the best Yorkshire ingredients. So remember if they do get one in January,  you heard it here first. And we’ll try not to say we told you so.

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