The School Wins National Title at the Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars

Posted on April 27, 2018

The School of Artisan Food is delighted to have been honoured with the Clarissa Dickson Wright Award at the Countryside Alliance ‘Rural Oscars’ for its outstanding contribution to food and education.

The award - named in honour of the late no-nonsense chef known to millions as a cook, broadcaster, author, historian and countryside champion - was given to the School on the north Nottinghamshire Welbeck Estate in recognition of its commitment to educate, inform and ignite a passion for food.

The 2017 Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the Rural Oscars, were handed out by the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove MP, to the top rural enterprises in the country at Westminster.

Managing director Julie Byrne said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to the House of Lords to receive this fabulous award. I am proud to accept it on behalf of my fantastic team and everyone who has supported our visionary founder, Alison Swan Parente, over the last decade to help make that vision a reality.”

The Welbeck Estate is also the proud bearer of two Midlands titles: The School of Artisan Food was named the Midlands Rural Enterprise winner while its neighbour, The Welbeck Farm Shop is the holder of the Midlands Local Food and Drink title.

The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove commented: “The Countryside Alliance does a brilliant job standing up for rural businesses and residents and supporting a working countryside. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed helping to judge their awards which go to rural businesses that exemplify the best in Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit. The winners deserve all our congratulations.”

Based in the heart of Sherwood Forest on the Welbeck Estate in North Nottinghamshire, The School of Artisan Food exists to teach all aspects of artisan food production. It has an outstanding reputation for the quality of training it provides with courses being taught by some of the most skilled and experienced artisan producers and practitioners in the UK, Europe and beyond.

As well as serving the professional local artisan food producers, the School also provide opportunities for the local community and offers courses for enthusiasts, existing and aspiring producers and complete newcomers. It is also committed to providing the widest possible access with several hundred thousand pounds being raised and awarded to students through its bursaries since the school opened in 2009.

The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses. They are now in their thirteenth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. This year they received over 11,000 nominations.

The national judging panel were the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, Waitrose Food Editor and Masterchef judge, William Sitwell, Philip Johnston, Assistant Editor of the Daily Telegraph, Emma Penny of Farmers Guardian, Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm (and founder of Borough Market), Clarissa Dickson Wright’s friend Sally Merison, Baroness Mallalieu and Tim Bonner, CEO of the Countryside Alliance.




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