Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 12.59.59Food producers from Yorkshire and the North East have enjoyed the sweet taste of success at an annual festival.

Nine top food and drink business were voted Festival Favourites at the second Distinctly Delicious – Darlington Festival of Food, in Darlington last weekend (May 9 and 10).

A team of judges put entrants through their paces during the two day family event, organised by business improvement district (BID) company Distinct Darlington.

Among those to scoop a highly coveted Best Taste award was festival newcomer Taylors of Darlington, with a Distinctly Delicious Sausage, made especially for the event, to a secret recipe.

Barnard Castle-based The Moody Baker, impressed the panel with its coal miners’ cob – a mixed dough with coffee, beetroot and cumin – while Urban Fudge, from Darlington, found favour with a Bakewell tart fudge.

Beverage winners included Northumberland producer The Fruit Kitchen’s raspberry and chocolate vodka and raspberry cordial and Mason’s Yorkshire Gin, while North Yorkshire’s Raisthorpe Manor achieved success with its damson port.

Longhorns BBQ, at Castle Eden, triumphed with its Memphis Hog Ribs, Newcastle’s Scream for Pizza wowed judges with a bacon, cheese and maple syrup pizza and Yummy Things, also based in Newcastle, won an award for its damson jam.

The judging panel included Liz Connor, sales manager at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, Joe Nalder, hotel manager at Darlington’s Houndgate Townhouse and Alex Hirst, manager at Distinct Darlington.

“The area has a wealth of superb ingredients and some very clever and creative people, who really know how to make the most of them,” said Alex.

“I’d like to thank all those who entered as they made for a very difficult but hugely enjoyable judging process and congratulations to the winners – they really did deserve to be singled out.”

The Festival Favourites were part of a weekend programme of events which included street theatre, cookery demonstrations and a Locomotion Cake Parade through the town centre.

“The festival really built on the success of last year and, once again, we’ve had great feedback from the public, local businesses and those that traded at the event,” said Alex.