Great Taste, the world’s most trusted food and drink awards, has reached its grand finale for 2020, with the Great Taste Startisan of the Year trophy presented to Mountain Honeys from London for its Hilltop Heather Honey.
Founded earlier this year, Mountain Honeys sources pure and raw honey from the Turkish mountain ranges, celebrating the centuries old beekeeping traditions of the region. Committed to delivering the honeybees’ best direct ‘from the hive to the home’, Mountain Honeys are all unfiltered and unpasteurised to preserve the products’ natural health benefits. Winning a Great Taste 3-star award at the first time of asking, Mountain Honeys’ Hilltop Heather Honey was described by judges as “liquid gold”, as the praise rolled in for its “beautiful light floral notes on the nose” and “liquorice, woody and maple syrup-style flavours all coming through.”
Having impressed at every stage of the blind-tasted judging process, as a record-breaking 12,777 entries were assessed over 14 weeks of remote judging and socially distanced judging sessions, the monofloral Hilltop Heather Honey, which is produced from nectar and pollen collected from heather that grows close to the Aegean sea, earned Mountain Honeys the title of Great Taste Startisan of the Year during the virtual Great Taste Golden Fork award ceremony on Thursday 22 October.
Taking place across the Guild of Fine Food’s social media channels and website, the online event brought together food lovers, producers, retailers, buyers and chefs to discover this year’s stars of food and drink, providing a vital boost for the industry as the nation moves towards the most important Christmas period in a generation. Held later in the year than usual, after the lockdown interrupted judging just one week into the schedule, the Golden Fork trophy announcements are the final instalment in a Great Taste calendar that has been reinvented at every stage, in order to stimulate much-needed consumer support for independent retail and hospitality over the challenging months ahead.
This year’s panel of judges included; cook, writer and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley, cook, writer, stylist and voice of modern vegetarian cooking, Anna Jones, celebrated Spanish chef, José Pizarro, Kavi Thakrar from Dishoom, food writer and cook, Xanthe Clay, and baker and author, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose. These esteemed palates tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the Golden Fork trophy winners and the Great Taste 2020 Supreme Champion.
The Great Taste Startisan of the Year trophy, which is presented to the best-performing Great Taste 3-star award-winning product, entered by a business less than a year old, was sponsored by Partridges London.