FOOD ‘OSCAR’ FOR PIER KIOSK
N.WALES VICTORS INCLUDE CHEF OF YEAR
IT may be tiny, but this little kiosk has just scooped a big award at the country’s food ‘Oscars’.
Whistlestop on the Pier, one of Wales’ smallest cafes, was named the Traditional Restaurant of the Year in the Welsh Food Awards 2019.
The cafe, on Bangor pier, was awarded the title at a 500 guest event in Cardiff on May 13.
The cafe’s signature dishes include seafood chowder, Menai Strait mussels in garlic and white wine with sourdough bread, Welsh rarebit, burgers, pancakes and traditional Bara brith.
The compact restaurant sits eight inside and 20 outside where diners can enjoy the stunning views of Snowdonia and the Menai Strait.
Owner Terry Thomas, who runs Whistlestop with his wife June, said the cafe’s idyllic location and intimate setting is part of the draw for many of its guests.
“Because it is small, conversational magic is often made between the customers as they share experiences with each other,” he said.
The owners pride themselves on utilising local ingredients and suppliers for the authentic Welsh feel, including burgers which are hand made using beef from Welsh black cattle reared on Anglesey and eggs from ‘happy hens’ near Llanfairfechan.
Terry and June even make their own Bara Brith and Scuffins (a delicious cross of a scone and a muffin) at their home fresh every day.
The couple added: “We always try to accommodate our customers’ requests which can be anything from a hot dog through to a fish finger buttie or a salad sandwich.
“Everything we cook we do in their presence; the children in particular take delight in seeing pancakes prepared and cooked in front of their eyes.”
The cafe, which has 143 reviews on TripAdvisor, has maintained its 5-star rating from the online travel review website over four years.
Mr Thomas said: “Customer care is indeed our highest priority. We have never sought reviews but when they do appear on Facebook, Google and Trip Advisor we take them extremely seriously.”
Terry and June use their time at the cafe to help raise money for charitable initiatives hosted by the Whistlestop.
The fifth annual Welsh food awards were designed to celebrate the profession-als that care for their diners or customers at a national scale.
The awards also provided the opportunity to fundraise for a worthwhile cause and helped raise money for the official charity partner, Make A Wish Foundation UK who grant magical wishes to children and young people, fighting life-threatening conditions.
THE region’s best food establishments and producers have been revealed at the Food Awards Wales 2019.
The awards recognised the achievements of local suppliers, wholesalers, chefs and establishments amongst others showcasing the best culinary delights the country has to offer.
Several of the awards were split into local regions to ensure the diverse range of businesses from across the country were recognised for their work.
And a number from our region scooped the top accolade in their category and named best in the whole of Wales.
The winners, voted for by the public, were honoured in an event at Cardiff City Stadium last Monday night.
A spokesperson for the Food Awards Wales 2019 said: “We are delighted to have welcomed such great finalists and winners at the Food Awards Wales 2019 and we would like to thank the public for making these awards the leading celebration of the country’s food industry.
“We would like to congratulate all finalists and winners for their amazing achievements.”
THE NORTH WALES WINNERS
HOTEL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR- OVERALL WINNER: Portmeirion (Minffordd)
FINE DINING RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR – OVERALL WINNER: The Manor (Conwy) TRADITIONAL WELSH RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: Whistlestop on the Pier (Bangor) CHEF OF THE YEAR: Gerwyn Williams for Bistro Betws Y Coed (Betws-y-Coed)
GASTRO PUB OF THE YEAR NORTH: The White Lion Inn (Llanelian) CAFE/BISTRO OF THE YEAR NORTH: Java Square Coffee Co. (Rhuddlan) RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR NORTH: Deadwood Smokehouse (Mold)
BEST BEST VEGETARIAN: INDIAN : Rasoi Anna-Loka Indian Kitchen (Cardiff) (Swansea) BEST ITALIAN: I Giardini Di Sorrento (Cardiff) BEST MEDITERRANEAN : Deli Fuego (Cardiff) BEST WORLD CUISINE : Poco (Bridgend) BEST MEXICAN: Calaca Kitchen (Swansea) BEST SEAFOOD: Penaluna’s Famous Fish & Chips (Aberdare) BEST STREET FOOD : Veganishmum Pop Up
Restaurant WELSH PRODUCE OF THE YEAR: Shellys - The Welsh Shortbread Company (Bridgend) RETAIL BAKERY OF THE YEAR: Becws Bets (Carmarthenshire) OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT SUPPLIER OF
THE YEAR: Dewi James a’i Gwmni (Cardigan) BEST ORIENTAL: The Dragon Palace Pembrokeshire (Saundersfoot)
BEST ASIAN FOOD: Lotus Restaurant & Take-Away (Pendine) CATERER OF THE YEAR: Sugarloaf Catering
BEST FISH N’ CHIPS: D. Fecci & Sons (Tenby) WHOLESALER OF THE YEAR: Cardigan Bay Fish (Cardigan) RESTAURANT GENERAL MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Sian & Simon Vickers for The Griffin Dale Pembrokeshire (Dale) COOKERY SCHOOL OF THE YEAR: The Pumpkin Patch Kitchen & Garden (Carmarthen) BEST OF CARDIFF : Heaneys Cardiiff OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR:
Scrumptious Monmouth (Monmouth) DESSERT OUTLET OF THE YEAR: Basil & Rusty’s Ice Cream (Caerphilly) BEST STREET FOOD OF CARDIFF: Bwydiful TAKEAWAY OF THE YEAR: Joes Fish Bar (Aberdare)
MID WALES: The Harp Inn (Powys) SOUTH WEST: Morgans Hotel Ltd (Swansea) SOUTH EAST: The Priory Caerleon (Caerleon) MID WALES : The King’s Head (Guilsfield)
SOUTH WEST : The Rake and Riddle (Swansea) Overall winner
SOUTH EAST : Tafan Morlais (Llangennech) MID WALES : The Moody Cow Farm Shop & Welsh Bistro (Aberaeron)
SOUTH WEST : Mermaid Cafe, Bar & Restaurant (Mumbles)
SOUTH EAST: Barry Sidings Cafe (Pontypridd) CARDIFF : The Brook Bistro Overall winner MID WALES: The Cellar Restaurant (Aberaeron) Overall winner
SOUTH WEST: The Bridge (Llangennech) SOUTH EAST : Cobbles Kitchen (Ogmore-bySea)
■ Chef of the Year Gerwyn Williams of Bistro Betws y Coed