The shortlist for the prestigious 2017 BBC Food and Farming Awards has named Castle Douglas’ The Earth’s Crust Bakery as one of the UK’s top three food producers.
The awards, now in their 17th year, are widely recognised as one of the most influential and prestigious food awards in the country, attracting thousands of nominations from the length and breadth of the UK.
The Best Food Producer category was one of the most hotly contested, described as the award that plots Britain’s changing food culture by presenter Sheila Dillon. Nomination was open to anyone who produces food, with 400 nominations for bakeries alone! Recognising that ‘food producers enrich our lives and local communities’ the award seeks to showcase people and businesses who use skill, quality ingredients and dedication to create excellent, fairly priced and delicious finished products.
Category judge chef Giorgio Locatelli said on the programme today:
“Investing in bread is almost like investing in society… a good bakery is part of the social structure of life.”
While presenter and judge Sheila Dillon said:
“This couple have been through a fire, everything they set up was destroyed but they have engineered good food into this area, and, as far as we can tell by tasting this morning, it’s extremely good.”
Describing the business, the Food and Farming Awards said:
“Based in Castle Douglas, The Earth’s Crust Bakery aims to provide real bread to the local community. Tom van Rooyen’s baking is inspired by a fusion of seasonal, local home cooking and creative influences from cultures across the globe; they specialize in hand crafted slow- fermented traditional bread, like sourdough and the bakery’s passion for good quality food has led to fresh bread and pastries with outstanding flavour and texture and all natural ingredients.”
Tom and Pavlina van Rooyen said they were delighted and thankful to have been nominated. Tom said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to be chosen as one of the finalists in the food producer category in this year’s food and farming awards. This is a culmination of years of hard work and dedication to our craft from our fantastic team of bakers and other support staff.
“We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who has supported us along the way from loyal customers, local tradespeople, council workers, other small business owners, family and friends. This nomination is credit to all the people who supported our vision and believed in our mission in Dumfries and Galloway and across the UK, you know who you are! Thank you!”
The Earth’s Crust Bakery nomination will have been shortlisted after judges reviewed thousands of nominations. Now the judges for this category will visit each finalist before gathering with the wider judging panel to decide on the eventual winners, which will be announced later this year.
Pavlina van Rooyen added:
“When we started 5 years ago, most people in our community have never heard of sourdough. Now we feel that many people get what we do and why we do it and we receive enormous amount of support, thank you so much to the person who nominated us, we are so grateful for your support.”
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