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Meet the judges: Gloucestershire Foodie Awards

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The first line-up of judges at the inaugural Gloucestershire awards have been revealed.

Jonathan Smith, Foodie Awards Founder, launched the Gloucestershire Foodie Awards in April 2022, following the success of the Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards, now in its third year.

Judge: Andrew Kojima, known as Koj, promotes Japanese food and drink as a chef, teacher, and author. After reaching the final of MasterChef, he undertook a fast-track training programme in Michelin-starred kitchens across the UK and Europe before specialising in his father’s heritage cuisine. As a private chef, he has cooked for The Queen, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Eddie Redmayne, and many other celebrities. His restaurant won awards and critical acclaim with its pioneering approach to Japanese dining. His first book “No Sushi” was published in 2020.

Andrew Kojima | Meet the judges: Gloucestershire Foodie Awards
Andrew Kojima

Judge: Lindy Wildsmith is a food writer, cook, teacher, translator, and traveller. Lindy believes in the importance of good seasonal ingredients, sustainability, and connecting with the land, growers, producers, and chefs she meets as she pursues her love of food in her native Gloucestershire/Herefordshire and far beyond. Her appreciation of nature, the changing seasons, and the countryside have inspired her interest in curing, preserving, and making drinks and given rise to many cookery books. As the author of Cured, she was shortlisted for the André Simon Award and the Guild of Food Writers’ best food book in 2011. Artisan Drinks, 2014 celebrates the pleasure of making your own. Subsequently, she wrote Raw and Rare on Crudo; raw fish, meat, and vegetable dishes. This switched her focus from the British countryside to coastal waters the world over, urban eateries, and from artisans’ traditions to the creativity of innovative chefs, 2017 Jacqui Small, Quarto Cooks. Lindy styles the food for her books. Her most recent publication, “Preserved: the practicalities and joys of making your own.” Crowood Press 2022 is due to be released later this year. 

Lindy Wildsmith | Meet the judges: Gloucestershire Foodie Awards
Lindy Wildsmith

Judge Tom Herbert: The Gloucestershire Foodie Awards is proud to support the CIC Long Table initiative, and Tom Herbert of the Long Table, based in Stroud, has confirmed his judging role. The ethos of The Long Table is in four parts: Community resilience, food resilience, community canteen, training, and work opportunities. The Foodie Awards champions the Pay As You Can initiative, where all food from The Long Table kitchen is served Pay As You Can. Please do if you can afford to pay £6 for each meal. However, If you are struggling and need a free meal, the Long Table is glad to be there with meals that have been paid forward by the community, ready for anyone who needs it. Contributions over £6 help others eat the same great food for less.

John Morgan Partnership (JMP) is proud to be sponsoring the Cookery School category in this year’s Gloucestershire Foodie Awards. Colin Jones, Senior Business Development Manager, will also judge this category. JMP is a local Cheltenham broker supporting all businesses within the Gloucestershire area and provides specialist insurance for the hospitality sector. Colin said: “Gloucestershire has a wonderful and diverse food scene, and the awards celebrate the best that Gloucestershire has to offer. We wish all the entrants the best of luck.”

The Gloucestershire Foodie Awards seeks to make a difference, aiming to maximise exposure for the Gloucestershire catering and hospitality community and raise the profile of this region’s food and drink. Jonathan added: “We are delighted and grateful to our line-up of judges. The awards are free to enter, with a closing date on 2 September 2022. We urge as many businesses to sign up as we want to raise the visibility of what a diverse and hospitable place Gloucestershire is!” 

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