A specialist company producing oriental mushrooms grown in Wiltshire using revolutionary new techniques has been named a Food Hero at a star-studded national awards ceremony.
Marlborough Mushrooms founder Dewi Williams won the Slow Food Local Hero Award at the Good Housekeeping Food Awards 2012.
The event, staged by Good Housekeeping magazine in London and hosted by Jane Asher, was attended by 170 people representing many of the country’s top food businesses and best known celebrities including Pru Leith, John Torode, Gizzie Erskine and all three finalists of this year’s Masterchef series.
Dewi said: "It was a brilliant evening. When we set up the business we never imagined that we might share a stage with people of such standing."
Mushrooms are grown at a farm just outside Marlborough. Dewi explained: “Blocks of oak chippings from the Savernake Forest are inoculated with shiitake spores – in the same way that the Japanese have cultivated crops from the dead logs of the shii tree for thousands of years.
“The blocks are then stored in a warm and dry cultivation room where they spend around 10 weeks until they are ready to fruit. When transferred to a warm and moist growing room, the blocks produce mushrooms that are ready to harvest in around a fortnight.
“Each of the mushrooms is picked by hand and we deliver them to restaurants and farm shops within a couple of days.”
Home cooks wanting to use Marlborough Mushrooms in their dishes will find them in a growing range of farm shops, including Cobbs at Hungerford , Marr Green near Marlborough, Allington near Chippenham and Bloomfields delicatessen in Highworth.
Marlborough Mushrooms is also exhibiting at Devizes Food and Drink Festival on Saturday, 14 July, East Garston Food Festival and Produce Show on Saturday, 21 July, Wanborough Show on Saturday, 18 August, Calne Food and Drink Festival on Saturday 8 September and Marlborough Feast of Food on Saturday, 20 October.
For more information, log on to www.marlboroughmushrooms.com
Pictured: Jane Asher, Dewi Williams, Catherine Gazzoli of Slow Food UK
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