A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...
Ok, at the start of February; in London (It just feels an age ago, since the whole ileostomy/colectomy thing happened in the meantime.) I was lucky enough to be a judge for this year's FreeFrom Food Awards. Founded and run by Free From Foods Matter, the FreeFrom Food Awards are in their 5th year and celebrate those food producers who create product that are free from one or more of gluten, wheat, dairy, soya, egg, yeast or sugar.
Coincidentally, I have been Coeliac for 5 years, so the FreeFrom Food Awards have been guiding me since the beginning of my journey! I have bought products on the merit of being shortlisted in previous FreeFrom Food Awards and I look forward to the list being published each year, so it was a huge honour to be invited to take part in the judging process this year.
As the various judges arrived, I started to feel completely out of my depth; all the other judges were established food writers, journalists and bloggers with far more experience and influence than me. Once the judging was underway, however, I started to relax and enjoy myself and Michelle was very warm and made me feel that my opinion was just as important as everyone else's. I was excited to be involved with some really interesting categories, (bread, ready meals, desserts and beer) and made some very inspiring discoveries in the process. Two of my favourite discoveries turned out to be from the same producer, Butterfly Snacks, who make the gluten free roti and gluten free spring rolls that I was thoroughly impressed by. Also worth a mention, I think, are Dietary Specials tortelinni (filled gluten free pasta!) and The Food Resource's Fusilli al Funghi, both would make a quick and tasty lunch and are made with pasta with a decent bite to it.
The shortlist was published at the start of this week and you can view it on the FreeFrom Food Awards website
I am very much looking forward to the awards ceremony on the 17th April and I will fill you in on all the winners then.