FOOD ‘OS­CAR’ FOR PIER KIOSK

N.WALES VIC­TORS IN­CLUDE CHEF OF YEAR

Bangor Mail - - Front Page - Zara Whe­lan

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)

OTHER WIN­NERS

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

(Blae­navon)

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

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