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Riverford’s farm-based restaurant beat off national competition at a ceremony in London from renowned restaurants including London’s Acorn House and Bristol’s Bordeaux Quay.
The award was presented by food writer and presenter Jay Rayner to Guy Watson, Riverford founder; Samantha Miller, Field Kitchen manager; and Jane Baxter, Field Kitchen head chef.
The Field Kitchen was set up in 2005 by Guy Watson, who wanted visitors to Riverford Farm to be able to taste the best of seasonal produce from his fields. Jane Baxter, who had previously worked at Dartmouth’s Carved Angel and the River Café in London, came on board to run the kitchen. Jane’s no-nonsense, gutsy dishes quickly gained a reputation in the local community and over the last five years the Field Kitchen has enjoyed rave reviews from critics including Gordon Ramsay, Giles Coren, the Guardian and last weekend’s Sunday Telegraph.
Guy Watson said “It is hugely gratifying to win this award two years in a row and shows that if a local restaurant can win a national award, we must be doing something right. It is a particularly positive award for us as it reflects the ethical values of the whole business. Congratulations and thank you to Sam, Jane and the rest of the Field Kitchen team.”
This is Riverford’s second Observer award this year; in June the farm won Best Ethical Business in the Observer Ethical Awards. Other winners in last night’s Observer Food Monthly Awards included Jamie Oliver, Sheila Dillon and Prue Leith.