The annual British Turkey Awards is the biggest and most important event in the industry's calendar. This event showcases the very best of British turkey retail and foodservice products. It brings together key farmers, producers, supermarket and foodservice buyers under one roof for the annual industry get-together.
FML has organised this prestigious black tie awards event for 12 years, and with over 260 guests attending this year, it just gets better and better.
We hired the Lancaster Ballroom at the Savoy for 25th September with the theme of Arabian Nights.
Entry for the awards was announced in the trade press in May, and forms and criteria sent out to all the British Turkey producers and retailers.
Paper entries were then collated and shortlisted, and a July date was set where over 50 products were expertly cooked and blind tasted - including 18 whole birds in the Christmas category! The judging panel included a wealth of expertise from the world of food and cookery. Results are kept under wraps until the big night.
Over the Summer, FML brought together all the key elements to ensure a first class event from designing creative invitation cards and programmes to booking stand-up comedian Patrick Kielty as compere and after-dinner entertainment.
A champagne reception kicked off the big night. Guests stepped into an Arabian Night scene with Arabic band and belly dancers, green and purple linen, Moroccan lanterns, Kentia palm trees, floor cushions and turquoise uplighters around the room.
The winning Student Chefs of the Year worked with The Savoy's banquet chef to produce a delicious and innovative turkey starter and main course, rounded off with traditional baklava.
After dinner the winners received their trophies and certificates with Patrick Kielty keeping the evening light-hearted and bringing his own inimitable style to the proceedings. Winners had their photographs taken with Patrick and Paul Kelly, Chairman of the British Turkey Federation.
Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling attended on behalf of children's charity Sparks and took part in a charity auction and raffle.
Other entertainment came in the form of a live band for dancing, a fortune teller, fancy dress photo booth and casino tables.
The awards were regarded as a huge success with supermarket buyers commenting that the British Turkey Awards is the best annual trade awards event they had been to. Follow-up feedback from the sponsors was also excellent, with repeat sponsors already on board for 2015.
Winners of the awards were sent a specially designed logo for use on pack and in pos.
Over £12,000 was raised for Sparks.
FML was presented with a very special award for 'Outstanding Contribution' to the industry, previously given to the likes of celebrity chef Phil Vickery for his tireless work promoting British Turkey.
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