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Features // Blog

Where top chefs buy their Christmas gifts

Publisher - Great British Food Awards
published by

NatashaLS

Nov 23, 2022
12 minutes to read

When it comes to doing your Christmas food shop, Britain’s small artisan producers have some real treats in store this year – and there’s never been a more important time to support them! Here we’ve asked some of our favorite foodies to share the producers they’ll be buying from this year, from bean-to-bar artisan chocolate to sensational British cheese

RICHARD CORRIGAN: LINCOLNSHIRE POACHER

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“Anyone who knows me well will know of my love of good cheese and good butter. There are no two finer things in life let me tell you! Lincolnshire Poacher is one of the greats. I’ve been using their butter in Bentley’s for over 10 years but it’s their cheese that I’m so in love with - it’s an unpasteurised cow’s milk cheese which is aged for 14-16 months. If a big chunk of cheese isn’t the best Christmas present, I don’t know what is!”

Richard Corrigan is chef patron of the Corrigan Collection

EDD KIMBER: BARE BONES CHOCOLATE

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“I love gifting high quality chocolate, it’s an almost universally loved product and makes for the perfect gift. In the UK we are lucky to have a wide selection of amazing bean to bar producers who turn cocoa beans into beautiful bars of chocolate. One of my personal favourites producers is Bare Bones Chocolate from Glasgow. The husband and wife team behind the brand make some of the best chocolate I’ve tried, their 68% Domincan Republic Salted is a personal favourite.”

Small Batch Bakes by Edd Kimber is published by Kyle Books, priced £18.99

ADAM SMITH: THE COURTYARD DAIRY

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“Andy and his team at The Courtyard Dairy are some of the best in the business - the way they look after and age their cheese is phenomenal. I often use their hampers as gifts for family and friends. Sparkenhoe Vintage is a must-have over the festive period, a beautiful Red Leicester and a favourite of mine.”

Adam Smith is executive chef of Coworth Park, including the Michelin-starred Woven by Adam Smith

PAUL A .YOUNG: BULLION CHOCOLATE

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“Christmas isn’t Christmas without chocolate and for me milk chocolate is a must have, it’s nostalgic and comforting. Bullion Chocolate, a Sheffield bean to bar maker, creates the most wonderfully nostalgic milk chocolate called Hallmark milk 44%. It’s creamy, rich and beautifully made and they look fantastic as stocking fillers.”

The Joy of Chocolate by Paul A. Young is published by Kyle Books, priced £26

SANDY TANG: FOIE ROYALE

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“This Christmas I would highly recommend Foie Royale. It’s an ethical, non-forced feeding alternative to the traditional Foie Gras, made from free range birds raised for their meat. And, most importantly, it tastes and works the same way. You can spread on crackers or use as a cooking ingredient for things like the parfait mousse in a choux bun.”

Sandy Tang is a 2020 MasterChef Finalist and founder of new freshly-made dumpling brand, Journey to the West.

MARK DIACONO: HEPPLE GIN

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“If ever the wisdom of investing a little in pleasure and flavour was demonstrated in spades it is with Hepple Gin. While a supermarket gin is perfectly serviceable, with Hepple you can taste the wild Northumberland moor botanicals and the precision of the distillation
process in every sip.”

Spice: A Cook’s Companion by Mark Diacono (Quadrille, £25), is out now

COLIN NICHOLSON: MACBETHS BUTCHERS

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Macbeths Butchers in Forres is a small family-run butcher specialising in some of the highest quality Highland Shorthorn beef from their own farm. They are committed to environmental practices on their farm, the cattle are fed grass, homegrown hay, or silage with no growth promoters. They have an online shop where you can purchase some of their great products that can be sent by mail all over the UK. I would recommend ordering a 6 Week hung beef for Christmas now!

Colin Nicholson, chef-patron of Mingary Castle

IRINI TZORTZOGLOU: SHED 1 GIN DISTILLERY

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Shed 1 Gin Distillery in Ulverston isn’t far from my home in Cartmel, and owners Andy & Zoe produce excellent, easy drinking gins. They are real sustainability advocates, which makes their newest, Ulverston Gin, extra special as it’s been produced using ingredients foraged from the local area, plus £5 from every bottle is donated to charities.”

Irini Tzortzoglou is a cook, author and 2019 MasterChef champion

ADAM HANDLING: SMOKIN BROTHERS SALMON

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“For smoked salmon it has to be from Smokin Brothers. It’s without a doubt the best smoked salmon and along with their commitment to ethical innovation it’s become a go-to at all of my restaurants - and for when I’m eating at home! We’ve even got it in our Christmas hampers as it’s so delicious.”

Adam Handling is owner of the Adam Handling Restaurant Group which encompasses five food and drink venues across London

LOTTIE BED LOW: CAKE OR DEATH BROWNIES

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“I used to post brownies to loved ones each Christmas. I’d bake, stuff them in an envelope and hope for the best. They rarely made it intact, or in time for Christmas, so friends and family were thrilled when I discovered Cake or Death. Based in Devon, founder Katie bakes the most delicious brownies AND successfully posts them all over the UK. If you really like someone you can even get them a subscription. Genius. Oh AND they’re vegan - and the ultimate accolade for a vegan bake - you’d never know it.”

Baking Imperfect by Lottie Bedlow, is published by Hamlyn, priced £20

STUART RALSTON: SUE PRYKE CERAMICS

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Sue Pryke is an independent ceramicist offering hand made beautiful creations from a small pottery in Lincolnshire, which makes understated and elegant pieces that fit perfectly in both the home and in a restaurant. Sue graduated from her first job at Wedgewood as a shape designer and still uses those skills today.”

Stuart is chef patron of Noto and Aizle in Edinburgh

KENNY TUTT: BACKYARD COFFEE

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Back Yard Coffee, an artisan roastery in Sussex, is always my first choice when it comes to coffee - they really know the farms and farmers they’re sourcing from. My favourite is their house roast – a perfectly rounded, chocolatey coffee. Great branding, great team, great ethics – and a great stocking filler for Christmas morning.”

Kenny Tutt, MasterChef 2018 champion, has just launched his debut site in London – his smashed burger brand Patty Guy is now at Sessions in Islington

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