The Judging Panel
Chair of Judges
“It is an absolute honour to be Chair of the judging panel for the Flavours of Herriot Country Awards. Each year these awards go from strength to strength and Herriot Country truly represent the very best of the food, drink, produce and service that Richmondshire and Hambleton has to offer. We are so fortunate to live and work in an area rich and diverse in its culinary offerings and the Flavours of Herriot Country capture this. Thanks must go to all of the farmers, producers, makers and businesses that enter these awards, and to the very professional and committed judges who support them”.
Here are a selection of our industry experts who will be judging the 12 categories this year…
Nigel qualiﬁed as a Charted Surveyor in 1969, and became a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and was also a Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers until its merger with the RICS, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. Most of his career was spent in the retail property industry as the property or estates director of a number of national multiple retailers including Clarks Shoes, Boots, Tesco.
The last 20 years was spent as the Development Director of Waitrose Ltd, having wide ranging responsibilities including environmental issues and corporate social responsibility.
He also served on a number of public and industry bodies including- Founder, Chair and President Property Managers Association, Board member Chair and President British Council of Shopping Centres, Trustee and Chair Civic Trust England, Trustee and Vice Chair Welsh Pony and Cob Society, Board member Capital Region Tourism (S.E. Wales Region), Chair Abergavenny Business Club, Mentor in Menter a Busness Cymru (Welsh Government ) scheme.
Nigel was involved with the Abergavenny Food Festival for 15 years, ﬁrstly as sponsor, and then as a board member and Chairman for 8 years. (building up visitor numbers to 35,000+)
Having recently joined the Biodynamic Certification Board as its independent director, Nigel’s main role is to ensure no conflicts of interest between Inspectors and Licensees in accordance with DEFRA rules, The Board is the sole authority for certifying organic farmers and producers in the UK and also certifies Organics.
He and his wife Clare have been breeding and showing welsh ponies for over 30 years, and farmed a hundred acres in Wiltshire with ponies and Pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle until they scaled down and moved to a 60 acre farm in Abergavenny 14 years ago, which they farmed organically, with ponies ,commercial sheep and latterly pedigree Zwartble sheep.
They now live on a 6 acre smallholding in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, which is run on the Biodynamic basis
Middlesbrough College will be hosting and judging the Young Professional Chef or Catering Student of the year category, with Molly Shaher, Catering and Hospitality course leader/ Chair of PACE (Professional Association of Catering Education), and Frances Atkins, of the renowned Yorke Arms, one of the very few Michelin Starred chefs in the UK, and Jonathan Harrison, Roux Scholarship winner and chef/patron of award winning The Sandpiper, in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.
Chris Wildman – a farmer and 5th generation butcher. Owner of Town End Farm Shop, Malham, and creator of the award winning Paganum Choorizo, cured in the Yorkshire Dales from his own pigs.
There is also an online shop for farm meat and charcuterie.
Etta Cohen OBE
Etta Cohen OBE has for over 20 years been an active networker building up contacts throughout the U.K and abroad at all levels.
Etta started her career as a teacher in inner city Leeds. She then went to work in the public sector.
Etta set up and previously ran Forward Ladies, one of the UK’s leading business support organisations for women. She was involved in consultation with government, organising trade missions, training, a speaker programme and Women in Business Awards.
Since leaving Forward Ladies Etta has set up www.afternoontea4u.com a website dedicated to promoting Afternoon Tea. She spends her time enjoying, reviewing and advising on Afternoon Tea.
She also mentors several women and is a public speaker.
Etta has two grown up married children and is Chair of the Development Board for Breast Cancer Haven in Leeds. She is a judge for several business awards both in the U.K. and US.
In 2016 Etta was awarded an OBE for services to women in business and entrepreneurship.
Simon Jenkins began a temporary stint writing the Yorkshire Evening Post pub column in 1992, while a colleague was on annual leave. 25 years on, Simon’s articles remain a weekly feature in the paper, and include reviews of local pubs, favourite beers and occasional jaunts to Yorkshire’s best breweries. He has written two editions of The Great Leeds Pub Crawl, his homage to the city’s drinking scene, and his new book The Yorkshire Beer Bible will be published in the summer of 2017. He has won a number of awards, including being named British Beer Writer of the Year in 2010.
Robert Ramsden, Specialist Food Development, Delifresh
I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting food ingredients for the catering trade for Delifresh, who service the catering trade throughout the UK with a vast array of specialist and exciting ingredients. Working closely with local growers and artisanal producers of all things food related, my job also involves hands on support in the customer’s establishments. I also enjoy the many cookery demonstrations that I do at many of the main events in the region. Previously Head Chef at The General Tarleton and chef at Harvey Nichols.
Head of Visitor Experience and Commercial, York Museums Trust.
Responsible for visitor experience at York Art Gallery, Yorkshire Museum, York Castle Museum York Museum Gardens and St. Mary’s York.
Manages: Retail, venue hire, relationship with catering concessions, and event management.
I’ve run cookery classes for 40 years, sat on Defra, Food Standards Agency and Meat and Livestock Commission committees, Chaired The Guild of Food Writers, presented a 10 part BBC TV series on Welsh food and published over a dozen books. Apart from that my children say that my toad in the hole is quite good.
Chris, Bettys Cookery School Course Tutor, brings 30 years of experience having previously spent 15 years as Head Chef at a local country house hotel. He has a wealth of classical cookery experience and, a keen gardener, he loves bringing home-grown produce from garden to table.
FLAVOURS OF HERRIOT COUNTRY AWARDS 2019
CHAIR OF BOARD
Irene Myers, Irene Myers & Associates.
Cllr Carl Les, Leader, North Yorkshire Country Council.
Ian Ashton, Chair, Herriot Country Tourism Group.
Charlotte Noone, Destination: Farm Shop.
Nigel Burton, Previously Development Director of Waitrose Ltd and board member at Abergavenny Food Festival.
David Shields, Area Director, Welcome to Yorkshire.
Malcolm Warne, Communications Officer, the office of Rishi Sunak MP.