Food Hero of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2022/3
Chosen by our judges:
Aaron Patterson, Chef Director, Hambleton Hall, Rutland
Selected by the GFC team:
Sara Barton, Founder, Brewsters Brewery, Grantham, Lincolnshire
Julian Carter, Co-Founder, Hambleton Bakery, Stretton, Rutland
Hiranthi Cook, Co-Founder, Cidentro Cider, Twyford, Leicestershire
Aaron Patterson, Chef Director, Hambleton Hall, Hambleton, Rutland
The winner is Aaron Patterson for mentoring so many top-quality chefs over the years, helping launch their careers, and for consistently high-quality cooking at Hambleton Hall.
Aaron is the key figure (with Hambleton Hall owner Tim Hart) behind Hambleton Hall’s unique talent for finding, developing and unleashing talent, which you can read more about here. Chefs that have passed through Hambleton, working alongside Aaron, include Adam Stokes, owner of Adams in Birmingham (1 Michelin star), Neil Hitchen, who now co-runs Hitchen’s Barn in Oakham (Michelin Bib Gourmand) and Gareth Ward, head chef & co-owner of Ynyshir near Aberystwyth, Wales (2 Michelin stars).
In February 2022, Hambleton Hall was also awarded a Michelin star for the 40th consecutive year – the longest-retained Michelin star in Britain. This is an outstanding achievement and Aaron must take a great deal of the credit.
The other finalists
The founder of Brewsters Brewery in Grantham, Lincolnshire, has been a driving force behind the resurgence of female brewers in the UK. Sara has also overseen the brewing of consistently high-quality beer since 1998, while running a village pub with its own shop: The Marquis of Granby in Granby, Nottinghamshire.
Hiranthi is a former civil engineer who planted 540 apple trees five years ago near Twyford, Leicestershire, creating one of the East Midlands’ only cider orchards. The orchard is the engine behind Cidentro, Hiranthi’s new East Midlands field-to-glass cider brand.
The co-founder of Hambleton Bakery has worked hard to help to propel Hambleton Bakery to long-term success and overseen the launch of its new bakery in Stretton, Rutland. Hambleton Bakery is one of the local food and drink success stories of the past decade, leading the UK’s drive back towards real bread. A great deal of that is down to Julian’s passion for making bread using traditional methods.