Dorset Food, Drink and Farming Awards 2019: Food, Drink and Farming Hero of the Year
PUBLISHED: 09:32 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:48 27 September 2019
Here we celebrate our very own hero - and they're certainly well-known on Dorset's culinary scene
Our final award of the year was the much-anticipated Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Hero, kindly sponsored by our headline sponsor, Dorset Food and Drink. This award is Dorset Magazine's opportunity to nominate its very own Dorset Food Hero or heroes. This category celebrates an individual or team who the magazine believes has made an important and lasting impact on the food and drink community in the county - someone who is passionate about local produce and finds every opportunity to say so.
This year's very worthy winners were Claire and Andy Burnet from Chococo.
Steve Harris, host at BBC Radio Solent's Dorset, said:
"The chocolate that Claire and Andy Burnet make at Chococo is exceptional. I know because earlier this year, on one of the best days of "work" ever, I got to help out in their factory, painting Easter eggs and hand piping gin-infused milk chocolate ganache. Let me tell you, it has never been so hard not to lick my fingers!
From their Wareham base they make the type of "real" confectionary that Claire was inspired by as a girl living in Belgium.
They use Dorset blue vinny, Dorset black garlic, and Dorset conker gin.
Like a rising tide lifting all ships, this is a company that is promoting Dorset's reputation as a whole through its own success.
It's been a remarkable decade and a half long journey for the Chococo team. They started out in Swanage, hand-making chocolates a couple of afternoons a week. In 2009 they opened their first café, and now have Chocolate Houses in Hampshire, Devon and West Sussex.
In 2010 they moved their base to a new HQ in Wareham. This year - to my delight - they launched a chocolate gelato range in time for our record breaking summer. But everything they do is still proudly handmade by a team that Claire and Andy have carried along with them."
A huge congratulations to this talented duo, and thank you for all that you do for the Dorset food and drink scene. Thank you also to our headline sponsor, Dorset Food and Drink.
To find out more about our Dorset Food, Drink and Farming Awards 2019 and our sponsors, visit https://foodawards.dorsetmagazine.co.uk/.
Were you at the awards last night? Tweet us your pictures @DorsetMag and tag us on Instagram @DorsetMag, and use the hashtag #DorsetFDFA.