Andrew Whitley receives a Special Judges' Award in the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2011

24 November 2011

A man who has helped to change the way Britain thinks about bread and now teaches baking at his home in Lamancha, West Linton, Peeblesshire, was honoured today, in an unusual move, with a Special Judges’ Award at the BBC Food & Farming Awards.

Sheila Dillon, presenter of the Food Programme on BBC Radio 4, thanked Whitley for his work in making, and campaigning for, real bread and for giving us his book Bread Matters, the ‘bible for real bread bakers’.

Andrew Whitley’s impressive track record began in 1976 when he founded the Village Bakery in Melmerby, Cumbria and created one of the UK”s best known organic brands. From there, he led the revival in artisan baking, a cause that continued when he left the Village Bakery and concentrated on teaching others to bake in his business Bread Matters. His controversial book, also called Bread Matters, was published in 2006 and in 2009 he co-founded the Real Bread Campaign.

Whitley is curently involved in long-overdue scientific research into the digestibility of bread, once more asking challenging questions about why this food, which ought to be the staff of life, sometimes actually makes people ill.

And, as always, he is collaborating with others who care enough to want to get real bread into their local communities. Whitley is a founding member of Breadshare, a communitysupported bakery that is due to start baking real, artisan bread using organic, local ingredients at Whitmuir Farm in Lamancha. Whitley said today: ‘The award is recognition that something wonderful is happening all over the country: people are making real bread at home, with friends and in new micro-bakeries. We’re changing bread for the better and that means healthier people, renewed communities and a less damaged environment. Even better, it’s starting soon in Lamancha.’

The Breadshare Community Interest Company has just appointed its first baker. Connor Rose, of West Linton, said today: ‘This is great news for Andrew Whitley, great news for real bread, and great news for me. I’ve already learned a lot from him and I’m looking forward to his support in Breadshare’.

Winner of the Best Food Producer Award was the inspirational Loch Arthur Creamery at Camphill Community, Dumfries, Scotland

Chair of the judges, restaurateur Richard Corrigan could not speak highly enough of the cheeses (particularly the Criffel, which reminded him of rediscovering his native Irish cheeses twenty years ago), and said: ‘When you have great bread, great butter and great cheese, you’ve got a food culture - and we’ve got one here’.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was declared the 2011 BBC Food Champion

Further information:

The BBC Food & Farming Awards celebrate the people and organisations, all of them nominated by BBC audiences, behind the best of British food. The Awards took place on Wednesday 23rd November 2011 at the BBC Good Food Show, NEC, Birmingham. They will be broadcast on Friday 25th November at 12.05pm and in special awards editions of The Food Programme on Sunday 28th November at 12.30pm and Monday 29th November at 4.00pm.

Andrew Whitley teaches bread making courses for enthusiastic amateurs, professional cooks and chefs, community bakers, at Macbiehill Farmhouse in Lamancha, West Linton. He was shortlisted for the Derek Cooper Award, which went to Food for Life, and received a Special Judges’ Award.

The Real Bread Campaign is the national network that brings together everyone whocares about the state of bread in Britain.

Breadshare Community Interest Company is a group of people who love real bread and want it to be available to everybody, creating a viable, sustainable, not-for-profit bakery business in the Scottish Borders.

Please contact
Veronica Burke at Bread Matters or telephone 01968 660449


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