THE award-winning Ribble Valley Food Trail has been re-launched three years after being a runaway success.
The trail features 34 food producers, shops and restaurants noted for top-quality food, exceptional customer service – not just service with a smile, but food served with knowledge and passion – and more crucially provenance: food produced, sourced, consumed and enjoyed locally, on a dedicated map and leaflet.
The new look trail features some exciting new members and a dedicated film, and will be backed up with a national publicity campaign.
The innovative project was launched by Ribble Valley Borough Council in 2008 to celebrate the borough’s remarkable recovery from the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic, enhance its reputation as a premier food destination and support Taste Lancashire 08, a year of events aimed at promoting Lancashire producers, chefs and fine foods.
The project, a joint venture between the council’s communications, tourism and regeneration teams, won a raft of awards, critical acclaim and individual accolades for the trail’s dedicated and hard working members.
Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Michael Ranson said: “The Ribble Valley Food Trail was a runaway success when it was first launched and has subsequently been emulated across the country. “Ribble Valley’s chefs and producers work tirelessly to bring us some of the best food and drink that Lancashire has to offer, and we are delighted that they are celebrated on this trail.“
Members of the trail were selected by an independent panel comprising food and tourism experts, leading food producers and retailers, and chefs.
Panel chairman Marcia Morris said: “The standard of the re-launched Ribble Valley Food Trail is exceptionally high and its offer is rich and diverse. “We are particularly delighted that the trail now features over-the-garden-gate producers, such as Gazegill Organic Farm, Beltin’ Good Beef and Robinson’s Eggs, and up-and-coming chefs, such as Michael Heathcote and Steven Smith.”
The Ribble Valley Food Trail features an array of wonderful foods – meat from traditional Lancashire breeds, organic milk and cheese, yoghurt and ice-cream, handmade pies and pastries, and a feast of fruit and vegetables packed with natural flavour – as well as several nationally-renowned chefs, including Lisa Allen and Nigel Haworth, both former winners of BBC2’s Great British Menu, and Paul Heathcote, who received an MBE in 2009 for services to food.
It is also the subject of a film, called Square Meal, in which Ian O’Reilly and Emma Robinson of Gazegill Organic Farm, Bob and Faye Kitching of Leagram Organic Dairy, Cliff Cowburn of Cowman’s Famous Sausage Shop and Nigel Haworth of Northcote talk about their passion for and dedication to local food.
Ian O’Reilly said: “At Gazegill, we believe passionately in organic food and that animals used for food should be given the best possible life. “The Ribble Valley Food Trail features some exceptional artisan producers and eating establishments, and is a great way to get people off the beaten track to meet the families behind some of Lancashire’s most fantastic food.”
The Ribble Valley Food Trail was launched at Gazegill Organic Farm, Rimington, near Clitheroe.
Further details about the Ribble Valley Food Trail are available from www.ribblevalleyfoodtrail.co.uk and copies of the leaflet are available from Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.
The Square Meal film can be viewed at the following links: