The winners of the tenth annual Observer Food Monthly Awards were announced at a show-stopping ceremony in London on October 17th, where even the trophies themselves were edible.
Co-hosted by Jay Rayner and The Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins, the coveted ‘Best Ethical Restaurant’ award was presented to Bristol restaurant Poco – as voted for by Guardian and Observer readers.
Poco has built up a loyal reputation in the Stokes Croft area and has successfully demonstrated their sustainable efforts by supporting their local economy and helping to protect the environment. Poco recycles 95% of their waste, and works towards improving this daily by weighing their waste and removing anything from their shopping list which cannot be recycled.
Tom Hunt, who oversees the menu, has even extended this way of thinking to his food, with tapas-style dishes meant for sharing. Ben Pryor and Jen Best are in partnership with Tom and all three are hugely dedicated to producing food with fresh ingredients which is 90% British, 10% EU and 100% seasonal – Poco’s main mantra.
Marking a first in the history of the awards, edible trophies created by Heston and the team at the Fat Duck, were given to all 16 winners on the night.
To honour each of the ten nominees for the Chef of the Decade prize, chef Angela Hartnett also produced a striking bespoke menu for the evening, creating ten canapés to represent each chef’s signature dish including Heston’s world-famous snail porridge and Jamie Oliver’s fish pie.
Since their creation in 2003, The Observer Food Monthly Awards have championed the very best in British food and produce, from independent local producers to the UK’s most admired chefs. Two new categories were introduced this year to reward the best amateur food photographer and best local farmer.