Food and Drink Awards 2023

Food & Drink Awards 2023 LUXlife M A G A Z I N E Food & Drink Awards 2023 Featuring:

Sofi Parry, Senior Editor Phone: +44 (0) 203 970 0018 Website: LUXlife is happy to announce the return of the Food and Drink Awards 2023. Now in its eighth consecutive year, this exciting programme aims to commend standout companies, brands, and products across the international food and beverage industries. The Food and Drink Awards 2023 will shine a light on those embracing developments and paving the way forward for the industry. From food trucks to meal kits, plant-based food to chocolatiers, this industry is expansive. Whether you serve a signature cuisine, produce an innovative new product, or cater to a unique market, the Food and Drink Awards 2023 presents a fantastic opportunity to establish your business through our international platform. With the competitive nature of the food and drink industry, demonstrating your success is vital. Innovation is key, as is the ability to adapt and embrace emerging trends such as sustainable food production and plant-based alternatives. As consumer ideals evolve, developments in the AgTech field are advancing the efficiency of food production and changing the global food market. In such a rapidly evolving industry, we at LUXlife wish to celebrate and recognise the hardworking individuals who’s work over the past 12 months has contributed to this transformation. The Food and Drink Awards 2023 aims to highlight deserving companies, brands, and products from across the international food and beverage market. Year-onyear the industry continues to grow its market value with popular segments such as confectionary and snacks, and experts predict continued positive expansion for the foreseeable. After all, this industry plays a vital role in everyday nutrition and is simultaneously influenced by emerging dietary and cultural trends. Therefore, now is the perfect time to celebrate the diligent companies who drive this dynamic industry forwards! About the Food & Drink Awards 2023

6. Savannah Bio Systems Pty Ltd: Best Speciality Ingredient Importer & Distributor 2023 – Australasia 8. Thai Lotusland: Most Authentic Thai Restaurant 2023 - Surrey 10. VITA: Best Medical Mushroom & Healthy Coffee Trading Company 2023 - DACH 12. Dorindo's Mexican Restaurant: Mexican Restaurant of the Year 2023 - Oxfordshire 14. Acqua Innovation: Most Innovative Natural Water Products 2023 - Cote d'Azur 16. Cukrček: Chocolate Shop of the Year 2023 18. Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd: Food Machinery Manufacturers of the Year 2023 - China 20. Concept Beverages: Most Innovative Beverage Manufacturer 2023 - Australia 22. Goldschmidt Vineyards: Best International Winemaker 2023 - USA 23. NOWAH: Specialist Catering Equipment Supplier 2023 - UK 24. Bakalikon UK Limited: Best Online Greek Supermarket 2023 - UK 25. Fifi's Cakery: Best Allergen Free Wedding Cake Business 2023 - Cambridgeshire 26. FiGee Fine Goods: Best Imported Beverages Distributor 2023 – Switzerland 27. Mercer's Kitchen Restaurant Group: Best Restaurant & Catering Group 2023 - Arizona 28. Shelly’s Tea Rooms: Most Authentic English Tea Room 2023 - Massachusetts 29. Georgia Glynn Smith: Food & Lifestyle Photographer of the Year 2023 (UK) 30. Jenny's Jams of Lincoln: Best Artisan Jam & Preserve Business 2023 - Eastern England 31. Radis Noir Pub Nordique & Café: Best Restaurant Laurentides P.Q. Canada 32. The Batch Lady Ltd: Most Inspiring Batch Cooking Blogger 2023 (UK): Suzanne Mulholland 33. AURA Skypool: Best Pan-Asian Poolside Restaurant 2023 - Dubai Contents 34. The Chocolate Bar Ltd: Best Artisan Chocolatier & Cake Shop 2023 - South West England 35. Rika Moon: Best Japanese Fusion Restaurant 2023 - London 36. Barcelona Chocolate Company: Best Premium Chocolate Company 2023 - USA 37. Koko & Karma: Best Coconut Water Brand 2023 38. Gather Foods Pty Ltd: Best Condiments & Ice Cream Company 2023 - Australia 39. Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery: Best Pet Treats Bakery 2023 - North Carolina 40. Palette Indian Kitchen: Best Indian Culinary Experience 2023 - Texas 41. Mr. Wraps Ltd.: Most Innovative Fast Food Restaurant 2023 - West Midlands 42. Cakery Wonderland: Purpose Driven Caterers of the Year 2023 - UK 43. Prue Leith Culinary Institute: Best African Culinary Education Provider 2023 44. Wineschool3: Best Bar Training Provider 2023 – Cayman Islands 45. Cacao Catering & Event Limited: Best Chef-Led Event Caterer 2023 – South East England 46. Charles & Company: Luxury Organic Tea Company of the Year 2023 - USA 47. Kouvolan Lakritsi Oy: Luxury Liquorice Manufacturer of the Year 2023 48. MÄNNKITCHEN: Best Kitchen Gadget 2023 (UK): The Pepper Cannon 49. Casa de l’Oli: Best Luxury Extra Virgin Olive Oil Brand 2023 – UK & Luxury Olive Oil Product of the Year 2023: Casa de l’Oli Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Fresh Garlic 50. The Total Beverage Companies: Most Pioneering Brewery Company 2023 - Southeast USA 51. OTC Beverages Limited: Traditional Caribbean Drink Company of the Year 2023 - London 52. Provytl Ltd.: Best Over-50s Supplements Brand 2023 - UK 53. Red Skye Restaurant: Most Welcoming Casual Dining Venue 2023 - Isle of Skye

54. Burbs Kitchen Ltd: Best Family-Run Catering Business 2023 - Dorset 55. Rockin Jr Ranch: Best Artisan Jam & Jelly Manufacturer 2023 - Central Texas & Customer Service Excellence Award 2023 56. Sweet Connection – The Gluten Free Kitchen: Best Gluten-Free Treats Brand 2023 – UAE 57. Mr. Bean Coffee Ltd.: Most Innovative Coffee Roasting Solutions Provider 2023 - UK 58. DōMatcha®: Best Health Food Product Brand 2023 - Canada 59. Dee Vine Estate: Winery of the Year 2023 - New South Wales 60. Nineteen.57LLP: Best Hidden Gem Seaside Restaurant & Bar 2023 - North Wales 61. Tal-Y-Cafn Hospitality Limited: Gastropub of the Year 2023 - North Wales & Business Resilience Excellence Award 2023 62. Fleures Honey: Best Bespoke Natural Honey Brand 2023 - South Africa 63. Prestige Hampers: Best Online Florist & Hampers Supplier 2023 - UK 64. Karine’s: Best Gluten-Free & Vegan Treat Boutique & Catering Business 2023 - Greater Toronto and Surrounding Areas 65. Istanbul Grill: Best Middle Eastern Cuisine Restaurant 2023 - Orlando

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6 | LUXlife Magazine sing speciality ingredients, companies in the food and beverage industry can significantly enhance the performance of their products for the benefit of the end consumer. For instance, they can be used to improve factors like taste, texture, appearance, nutritional value, shelf life, convenience, and affordability. Some examples of speciality ingredients are natural preservatives, flavour systems, sweeteners, fibres, tea and coffee extracts, pre-pro-postbiotics, foodgrade colourings and flavourings, carrageenan, and more. The provision of these ingredients plays a key role in the creation of safe, nutritious, tasty, and convenient food and drink products for public consumption. For more than three decades, Savannah Bio Systems, known simply as “Savannah” in the industry, has been importing and distributing speciality ingredients to clients across the food and beverage industry, including the largest global multinationals, small startups, single product producers, and everything in between. Savannah’s head office and application kitchen is located in North Shore, Sydney, and the company’s warehousing and distribution capabilities cover Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Auckland and Christchurch. Savannah boasts a broad portfolio of ingredient technologies, covering a range of end user markets. This includes health and nutrition, bakery, dairy, beverage, confectionery, meat and poultry, savoury, culinary and fine foods, and plant-based products. For example, Savannah provides ingredients to the confectionary market, including emulsifiers such as PGPR, a selection of colours with a focus on carotenoids, and a complete range of natural fibres. As well as this, the company offers a wide range of plant-based ingredients that can be used to create unique, high-quality vegetarian and vegan products. To the baking industry, it also delivers innovative ingredients for baked goods that will add value, improve quality, and deliver clean label and cost savings to clients’ businesses. Through its excellent products and services, Savannah aims to fulfil customers’ needs and help them overcome their product development challenges. To this end, it strives to deliver ingredient solutions that are innovative, complete, and backed by specific industry and ingredient expertise. The company is able to do this thanks to its many exclusive supply partners, who provide Savannah with some the most cuttingedge ingredients on the market. These partners include Alland & Robert, Allied Biotech Corporation, CEAMSA, Haco, Hälssen & Lyon, Ohly, Palsgaard, to name a few. As part of its quality assurance programme, Savannah considers food safety to be a high priority. For this reason, it only partners with suitably qualified and validated suppliers. Moreover, to ensure that the high expectations of its customers are always met, the company utilises a system of continuous Best Speciality Ingredient Importer & Distributor 2023 – Australasia Established in 1986, Savannah Bio Systems imports and distributes a variety of speciality functional ingredients, serving clients in the food, beverage, health, and nutrition industries across Australia and New Zealand. The company prides itself on the fact that it does not just supply ingredients; it goes above and beyond to use its extensive industry experience and global partner network to help clients overcome the challenges in an ever increasingly competitive and complex environment. U improvement to drive the endless enhancement of its commitment to quality, legislation, and food safety. Accredited and certified by HACCP, SEDEX, and RSPO, Rainforest Alliance and Certified Organic (ACOS & EU), the company’s products can be fully trusted by its customers. To set itself apart from other specialist ingredient distributors on the market, Savannah is proud to offer an interesting and unique selection of products from its global network of raw material manufacturers. As well as this, the company’s commitment to service excellence is a distinct differentiator; customers are invited to get in touch with its highly qualified team for assistance or to discuss any challenges. Customers can also seek further information about the ingredients on offer. Due to its unique offerings and outstanding service, customers have remained loyal to Savannah year after year. As a result, since its establishment, the company has built itself an excellent reputation and a broad customer base, enabling it to grow and expand. However, like many other businesses, Savannah has faced a number of challenges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, the biggest challenge that has struck the ingredients sector across Australia and New Zealand has been pricing at all points, from raw material costs to shipping to foreign exchange pressures. On top of this, there has been a ‘lag period’ between the impact of imported cost drivers and manufacturers being able to renegotiate pricing structures with the major retailers. As a result, most manufacturers have had to absorb the cost increases that have occurred in between. Now, as the world continues to recover from the pandemic and other geopolitical events, global price pressures are generally reducing. Savannah is working quickly and closely with customers, aiming to provide them with the best possible rates. This can be accomplished by obtaining better raw material prices or ensuring the cost optimisation of their products through better technologies. Leveraging its strong global partnerships with its suppliers, Savannah has been able to support its customers, helping them to find competitive advantages across their range of products. As a result of its continued excellence despite the challenges it faces, Savannah has been named Best Speciality Ingredient Importer & Distributor, Australasia, in the Food and Drink Awards 2023. Having achieved impressive success over the years, the company looks towards a bright future of continued growth. We are thrilled to congratulate Savannah on its success in this prestigious awards programme and wish it the best of luck in the years to come. Contact: Scott Trethowen Company: Savannah Bio Systems Pty Ltd Web Address:

Food & Drink Awards 2023 | 7 Global reach, personal touch

Jun22596 8 | LUXlife Magazine At Thai Lotusland, customers can expect to enjoy some of the UK’s best Thai cuisine. Since its establishment, the restaurant has gained an international reputation for its excellent food. Designed to appeal to both the eyes and the tastebuds, Thai Lotusland’s authentic dishes are light and fresh. They are crafted with delicate blends of spices which combine perfectly to deliver a unique harmony of flavours, colours, and textures. The restaurant recommends that these dishes are shared, enabling customers to indulge in a range of complementary flavours. From mouth-watering spicy salads and steaming soups to sea bass in a fresh chilli and lemon sauce, each dish is freshly prepared to order by a team of experienced Thai chefs. The restaurant’s menu boasts a range of options, including familiar starters like the chicken satay, spring rolls, and Tom Yum Goong. It also offers many more exotic dishes, like the delectable Som Tum, a famous Thai papaya salad with crushed green beans, tomatoes, and carrots, topped with roasted peanuts. Moreover, Thai Lotusland’s main menu is just as broad, featuring dishes like the roast duck breast served in a red curry sauce made from coconut milk, pineapple, and tomato, nestled amongst accompaniments of Phad Thai and steamed jasmine rice. This combination of ingredients creates not only a wonderfully flavourful experience on the tongue but also an eye-catching and unique kaleidoscope of colours on the plate. Sep23144 Most Authentic Thai Restaurant 2023 - Surrey Set within a red-brick Georgian building in Farnham, Surrey, Thai Lotusland is a highly rated Thai restaurant that serves authentic cuisine, providing customers with the unique opportunity to experience true Thai hospitality and culture without leaving the UK. Many of its customers are regular visitors to Thailand, so it works hard to deliver authenticity through style, decoration, service, and food. Finally, for dessert, customers can treat themselves to one of Thai Lotusland’s delicious specialties, including fried banana with coconut ice cream. In the food and drink industry, competition is high amongst Thai restaurants. However, Thai Lotusland sets itself apart through its authenticity by adding unique touches to the customer experience. For example, it creates beautiful vegetable carvings of swans and flowers to decorate plates. On top of this, as a small business that has been open for 15 years, the restaurant understands the importance of sourcing the freshest and most fragrant herbs from Thailand to use in its authentic dishes. Furthermore, Thai Lotusland is passionate about providing its guests with a wonderful evening by delivering an unparalleled dining experience. Alongside its excellent cuisine, the restaurant strives to offer outstanding customer service and hospitality. To achieve this, it hires friendly, pleasant staff members who are committed to always serving guests with a smile. Most of its team are from Thailand or have visited the country, meaning they have a thorough understanding of its unique culture and cuisine. Whilst this knowledge is useful, the restaurant believes that it is more important for their customer service to come from the heart. To add to the customer experience, Thai Lotusland is proud of its ability to cater to a variety of occasions, including intimate dinners, private “This was our second visit in the space of a few months. The food is consistently very good, as is the service. This visit, I particularly enjoyed the Tom Yum Goong soup and the Yum Woon Sen salad. The quality of the seafood was very good. I’m sure we will be back again.”

parties, business dinners, and more. For any event, customers are welcome to reserve their own special space, whether they need part of the restaurant or the whole venue. They can trust that their guests will be both surprised and impressed by the unique atmosphere at Thai Lotusland. Additionally, for a special treat, the restaurant now has a unique new Khan Toke room, which takes customers and their guests on a trip back in time. A Khan Toke is a traditional Thai Lanna lunch or dinner that is offered to guests to celebrate a special occasion. Over the years, Thai Lotusland has received a plethora of positive feedback on platforms like TripAdvisor, resulting in its impressive four-star rating. These reviews attract many new visitors to the restaurant. For example, one satisfied customer comments, “Let me start by saying: what a beautiful setting! The restaurant was incredibly clean and tidy, with a lovely ambiance. The food was exceptionally presented and very tasty; I can recommend the sweet and sour duck. The staff were also attentive, and it was nice to see them dressed in traditional Thai outfits. I would absolutely recommend this restaurant.” In addition, many of Thai Lotusland’s glowing reviews emphasise the fact that they have visited the restaurant numerous times. For example, one states, “This was our second visit in the space of a few months. The food is consistently very good, as is the service. This visit, I particularly enjoyed the Tom Yum Goong soup and the Yum Woon Sen salad. The quality of the seafood was very good. I’m sure we will be back again.” Overall, for anyone seeking a truly exceptional Thai restaurant in Farnham, Thai Lotusland is the perfect choice. It is a great destination for a casual lunch or dinner, or any special occasion that calls for delicious food. The luxuriously decorated venue is conveniently located, with plenty of parking available in a nearby public carpark on Dogflud Way. After 6pm, customers can park there for free, which is an especially attractive option for those seeking an evening meal. For its continued excellence, Thai Lotusland has been awarded Most Authentic Thai Restaurant, Surrey, in the Food and Drink Awards 2023. In the future, the restaurant plans to expand its team, preparing to welcome more and more guests through its doors. In this, it hopes to hire additional top chefs from Thailand, adding even more of an authentic touch to the establishment. Contact : 01252 716584 Email : [email protected] Website:

10 | LUXlife Magazine ITA Bio Lebensmittelhandel e.U. (VITA) was founded almost ten years ago in 2014 by organic-reishi-coffee-pioneer Gerold Helmut Jernej, who, for more than 25 years has surrounded himself with Asian philosophy, Tibetan Buddhism and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). As Gerold explains, “in TCM there are so many possibilities to help mankind … I trust the millennia old knowledge about harmony and wellbeing.” With this mindset to boot, Gerold spent seven years working as a product manager for a natural and gold cosmetics line that was based on TCM, and before that for three years as project manager of a used mobile phone collection company. This company was the co-initiator of the Ö3-Wundertüte, which has been successfully collecting old mobile phones for a good cause since 2005 in Austria. Best Medical Mushroom & Healthy Coffee Trading Company 2023 - DACH VITA – Bio Lebensmittelhandel e.U. is a unique company that specialises in organic products with the overarching goal of providing its customers with the motivation to lead a lifestyle that is healthy and exciting. For the business, there is a keen focus on helping customers realise that they have to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, and raising awareness of this in a way that is fun, innovative, and delicious. In the fast-moving world that we live in today, its amazing field for consumers to find the best choice of high-quality products that satisfy their health needs while remaining tasty, and this is where the company comes in, offering medical mushrooms in a variety of forms and natural, organic coffees. We speak with Founder Gerold Helmut Jernej, to find out more about his philosophy and the high-quality, life-affirming products that the company provides. it boasts alkaline and intermediate-fasting capabilities, it is ideal for people before or after taking part in sports, as well as being suitable for both vegetarian and vegan customers. In short, this coffee is for those who are health-conscious and is pioneering as the first of its sort on the Austrian organic coffee market. The food and drink industry is one that is subject to constant changes, evolution, and developments across the board, and a particularly prolific issue in the current climate is an increased demand for healthy and sustainable products, coupled by consumers increasingly suffering from coffee intolerances. To remedy this, VITA’s coffee produce is not only healthy, but is bolstered by the addition of two top-quality medicinal mushrooms that have been added since the beginning. The product is subsequently roasted and packaged in a private and organic roastery in Gmunden province of Upper-Austria, in packaging that is friendly to the environment. VITA uses only 100% organic highland Arabica beans sourced from a social coffee farm project in West Honduras, and the two medicinal mushrooms which accompany the beans are lovingly produced in the company’s native Austria, guaranteeing their quality and sustenance. Although these game-changing mushrooms have found their way into the company’s coffee since day one, it was 2018 when Gerold began selling these mushrooms separately as a wholesaler of an innovative mushroom production company, which is responsible for the production of valuable mushroom products as food supplements in the best organic quality in pure culture in Tyrol, in a range that is inclusive of powder capsules, alcohol-free dual liquid extracts, and a recently unveiled series of organic medical mushroom skin creams. In contrast to other coffee suppliers who use aluminium capsules, VITA focuses on high quality and only uses 100% compostable wood fibre espresso capsules. By enjoying this delicious coffee, consumers are not only doing something good for their health, but also contributing to a sustainable lifestyle and a better environment. As one might expect from the dedication and enthusiasm which Gerold exudes, VITA is a company comprised of a single person, with Gerold V • Sep23438 Vital organic coffee (VITA1001 – Bio Vitalkaffee) thus serves not only as a vocation, but a new challenge, and in order to separate himself from the competition, Gerold believes in adopting a quality-first approach across the company’s offerings, surviving in the highly competitive coffee market by specialising in one specific area and focusing on the right group that the product is intended for. Nutrition, exercise, and relaxation are the three pillars that serve to represent an individual’s health, and the business plans to utilise all three pillars to provide empowerment, offering organic food that is fair and great for overall health. As an example, the low-acid and healthy VITA1001 – Bio Vitalkaffee (Reishi coffee), helps those who suffer with coffee intolerance, and since

Food & Drink Awards 2023 | 11 in a box of ten. Subsequently, VITA was championed with recognition of first place in the “novelties” category at the Gewusst wie Health Fair that same year, a true recognition of the excellence offered by the product. For those looking to buy any of VITA’s products, they can be found in the Austrian health stores Reformstark Martin, Prokopp Gewußt wie, and Natur & Reform, as well as a variety of organic and natural food stores, drug stores, coffee houses, pharmacies, and shops across the country. Moreover, they can be purchased directly from VITA’s website or Amazon. de, meaning that customers across the country can revel in coffee that is not only tasty, but beneficial to health and well-being. Looking ahead to the future of the company, things look for bright for VITA, with Gerold planning to launch a new and innovative line of products into the market sometime in early 2024, as well as continuing his tireless and successful product promotion ventures of the business’ current offerings. As the demand for high-quality food products continues to increase, more people are sure to flock to VITA, and in return, Gerold promises to continue to offer the premium products his current client base has come to know and love. VITA also plans to expand its presence in the e-commerce sector, investing in improving logistics to ensure that delivery of all of the company’s organic products is streamlined and executed smoothly. In the near future, Gerold plans to further expand and strengthen its product presence in DACH. Expansion into some European countries is also being considered. Enquiries from interested dealers from all over the world are always very welcome. My slogan is also: Not having my functional Reishi coffee in the retailer range is a failure to render their customer needs. Overall, it is safe to say that with VITA1001 – Bio Vitalkaffee you will experience unforgettable coffee moments that contribute to a healthier self and a healthier planet. This means that many people near and far can enjoy Gerold's revolutionary coffee and mushroom products. With all the joyful work that is continuously being fed into the business to ensure its luxury product range continues to thrive, the VITA – Bio Lebensmittelhandel e.U. brand has established itself as a beacon of expertise, personality, and friendliness in the food and drink industry, and one that is more than deserving of this award celebrating its brilliance, and that of its fantastic owner. Contact: Gerold Helmut Jernej Company: VITA – Bio Lebensmittelhandel e.U. Web Address: having managed every element of the business since it first came to the market more than nine years ago. Through a meticulous blend of exciting vison, a lot of heart and soul, motivation, commitment, and joy, Gerold has taken the company from strength to strength, even carrying out a great deal of promotional work with the product’s dealers in their shops. As Gerold explains, “this is really intense and interesting work, and it gives me a lot of fun and pleasure to help people.” To this end, VITA gives its prospective customers the opportunity to try its coffee free-of-charge in a store setting, eliminating the need for a blind purchase to be made. Nevertheless, Gerold is confident in the ability of his products to impress consumers, confidently stating, “I call my VITA1001 – Bio Vitalkaffee probably the tastiest coffee in this universe.” Always trying to spread awareness of the brand, 2022 saw Gerold take part in 126 such full-day promotional activities throughout Austria, including exhibiting five trade fairs, all on his own, carrying the brand squarely on his shoulders. The challenging and lovingly work that Gerold puts into VITA is more than paying off, with the company winning three awards within a 14-month period, serving to reinforce his motivation to provide people with a leading, healthy, alkaline coffee product. Last summer, the company launched its VITA1001-EK-10 Reishi coffee in a 100% compostable, wooden and Nespresso compatible espresso capsule,

Jun22596 12 | LUXlife Magazine Mexican Restaurant of the Year 2023 - Oxfordshire Ideally situated in the heart of Abingdon, a quaint market town in Oxfordshire, Dorindo’s Mexican Restaurant is one of the county’s finest establishments serving authentic Mexican cuisine. No matter what day of the week you choose to visit, you are bound to find tables full of satisfied customers, which is a testament to the restaurant’s ability to exceed expectations time and time again. With friendly staff, outstanding food, and a vibrant atmosphere, Dorindo’s truly has it all. A true melting pot of different cultures, Mexican cuisine brings together a broad array of flavours and techniques. Over several decades, the ingredients and customs of European, West African, and Portuguese immigrants intertwined with those of the locals, creating what is known today as Mexican cuisine. It has since become one of the fastest growing gastronomic movements, with over 900 Mexican restaurants now serving the UK public. Dorindo’s was established eight years ago when Owners Teodora and Tashko were inspired by the food they encountered on their family holiday to Mexico to create their own Mexican restaurant. Now, thanks to their continued hard work and unwavering dedication, the business is thriving and serves an extremely loyal customer base. Dorindo’s is located centrally in Abingdon on the bustling high street, making it the perfect spot for tourists to refuel during or after a day of exploring the local area. Those visiting by boat can enjoy a scenic walk to the restaurant from the river Thames, winding through the picturesque streets of one of Britain’s charming market towns. Set within a historic building, Dorindo’s boasts a spacious dining area with high beamed ceilings, a colourful and unique interior, and walls adorned with striking Mexican decorations. As guests venture into the restaurant, they are warmly greeted by a friendly front-of-house team, who will show them to their table. There, they can explore Dorindo’s authentic menu, through which Owner and Head Chef Tashko demonstrates his seasoned culinary expertise.

Food & Drink Awards 2023 | 13 As guests are likely to expect, Dorindo’s serves much-loved classics like sizzling fajitas, soft or crispy tacos, enchiladas, and burritos with a choice of delicious filling. To start, guests are encouraged to indulge in the delightful homemade guacamole, which many claim to be the best they have ever tasted. For their main meal, the chef highly recommends the chilli con carne, made with succulent slow-cooked beef, or the spicy king prawns. Lastly, for those with a sweet tooth, Dorindo’s serves delightful desserts like the cinnamon churros, which are served with a chocolate or caramel dip. Much to the delight of many guests, Dorindo’s also offers an extensive drinks menu, including margaritas in a variety of flavours, a wide range of tequila and mezcal, mocktails, wine, and beer. Every dish served at Dorindo’s is made fresh to order with the utmost skill, love, and dedication. The restaurant is proud to cater to a variety of dietary requirements, offering many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Excitingly, guests who visit for lunch can enjoy a fantastic value meal, with special offers available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. These attractive opportunities bring customers into the restaurant throughout the week. Since its establishment, Dorindo’s has maintained an unrivalled standard of service, resulting in its impressive 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor. Its portfolio of glowing reviews is truly a testament to its excellence. For example, one satisfied customer comments, “This restaurant is fabulous! Everything is top notch. We were warmly greeted, promptly seated and, though it was difficult to choose just one thing from the gorgeous menu, our food was absolutely delicious. The atmosphere is wonderful, the staff are attentive but not pushy, and it’s very reasonably priced. We are so lucky to have this place in Abingdon!” Similarly, another delighted guest explains, “I came here with my husband after hearing good things and wasn’t disappointed. We originally booked the wrong date, and they sorted this out for us very quickly with absolutely no issues. Wonderful food, staff, and music. There is not one negative about our whole experience and we can’t wait until we visit again. Definitely our new favourite restaurant.” Lastly, further demonstrating the restaurant’s consistency, yet another pleased visitor shares, “Visited Dorindo’s with a family group of seven on a Saturday night. The food is always fantastic and never disappoints. Enjoyed margaritas, jarritos, and a range of delicious starters. All the main dishes we had were great. The hanging kebabs, fajitas, and enchiladas are particular favourites. The atmosphere is lively, and the staff are attentive and helpful. Will be back soon! Many thanks!” In light of these overwhelmingly positive comments, it is no surprise that Dorindo’s has been awarded Mexican Restaurant of the Year, Oxfordshire, in the Food and Drink Awards 2023. Priding itself on its enjoyable atmosphere and cheerful service, this restaurant is a place that the whole family will love. Winning the hearts of many who walk through its doors, Dorindo’s is bound to tempt you back time and time again with its superlative culinary offerings and distinctive charm. With yet another prestigious title under their belt, there is no doubt that Teodora, Tashko, and the rest of the team at Dorindo’s Mexican Restaurant look towards a bright future. We are thrilled to congratulate them on their success in this awards programme and wish them the best of luck in the years to come. Contact Details Contact: Teodora Atanasova Company: Dorindo's Mexican Restaurant Web Address:

Jun22596 14 | LUXlife Magazine Acqua Innovation was founded in 2020 by Christophe Vanneste and his partner, Laurent Marschutz. The start-up was created to market its groundbreaking product, Odello, a natural mineral water in ecofriendly packaging with bottles made from by-products of the corn and wheat industry. Acqua Innovation is the first company in France to use this 100% biosourced material. With its pioneering combination of ecological packaging, mineral water close to natural purity, and sustainable manufacturing process, Acqua Innovation is committed to delivering a natural solution to the water market. When researching French consumer habits, Acqua Innovation discovered that 80% of consumers took the time to sort their waste, and 68% of them practiced recycling. Research revealed that 53% of French consumers were concerned about the environmental impact of the products they consume. Despite this, 90% of the country’s mineral water is currently distributed in PET plastic bottles. PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a form of polyester and a popular, cost-effective choice for soft drink packaging. Although all PET plastic bottles can be recycled, the manufacturing process produces a staggering amount of greenhouse gases. Plastic production and disposal contribute to roughly 3% of all global emissions. The manufacturing process of Acqua Innovation’s Odello bottles uses only the 100% biosourced material to shape its eco-friendly bottles. Polylactic acid (PLA) is a special polymer made from natural biomass, and most often fermented plant starch. This manufacturing process generates less greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-based plastics. Acqua Innovation is dedicated to using environmentally friendly manufacturing processes to produce its plant-based bottles. The company also uses 100% ecological packaging, supplementing with biodegradable labels, natural glue, and edible inks. Odello bottles possess clear environmental benefits with materials derived from natural and renewable sources. The vegetable bottle is guaranteed to not contain any petroleum or by-products. Oct23471 Most Innovative Natural Water Products 2023 - Cote d'Azur Established in Avignon, France, Acqua Innovation aims to revolutionise the water market with the innovation of a natural mineral water in a bottle 100% biosourced. Offering a natural alternative to plastic, the plant-based water bottle is set to change the world with a container that reflects its natural contents. For its contribution to sustainability, Acqua Innovation has received our award for this year’s Most Innovative Natural Water Products - Cote d'Azur.

Food & Drink Awards 2023 | 15 Alongside Odello’s natural materials, the product also contains near natural purity mineral water with low and dry residue levels that give it its unique taste. Dry residue content refers to the amount of solid matter that remains after the water is evaporated. A high dry residue content contains more minerals and results in stronger tasting water. There are several health benefits to water with low mineral content, including lower risks of gout, hypertension, and urinary tract stones. Acqua Innovation is delighted about delivering its eco-friendly product to the market. The business is busy securing orders for the coming year and will soon be certified to the ISO 9001 standard, a globally recognised standard for quality management. In an effort to fulfil their consumers’ desire for sustainable products, brands have responded favourably to Acqua Innovation’s vegetable bottle. Although there is no direct competition for plant-based water bottles, Acqua Innovation is entering a mature market. Natural still water represents the majority of the market, with France producing 9 Billion plastic bottles annually. There are currently 594 companies producing bottled water in Europe, and 84% of these are SMEs. Despite its many competitors, including big-name brands such as Danone and Nestle, Acqua Innovation has responded to a growing demand for eco-friendly products and sustainable production methods. The business’s innovation is set to significantly reduce the consumption of resources and the production of greenhouse gases. The company is dedicated to continuous research and development to explore new products and further avenues for sustainability. Acqua Innovation has ambitious goals for the future of the water market. As the business continues to evolve, it will remain steadfast in its core values of environmental protection and sustainability. This innovative start-up meets the growing needs of consumers for sustainable products with its plant-based bottles and eco-friendly ethos. With its conscious approach to production and desire to create a sustainable world, Acqua Innovation is unique in its offerings and relentless desire for success. We are excited to see what groundbreaking developments the business will unveil in the future. For its positive contribution to environmental change and revolutionary innovations in the water market, Acqua Innovation has been honoured with our award for this year’s Most Innovative Natural Water Products - Cote d'Azur. Contact Details Contact: Christophe Vanneste Company: Acqua Innovation Web Address:

16 | LUXlife Magazine Chocolate Shop of the Year 2023 Situated in the heart of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Chocolate shop Cukrček is a family business that handmakes high-quality chocolate products with love and devotion. The specialist chocolatiers are innovators who consistently create bold new flavours and undertake exciting projects. Each Cukrček store is a chocolate heaven where clients can discover over 100 different flavours and shapes of luscious chocolate. For its wide variety of decadent products and innovative approach, Chocolate shop Cukrček has received our award for this year’s Chocolate Shop of the Year. stablished in 1993, Chocolate shop Cukrček began with a mother and son lovingly creating their chocolate praline. Son Luka went on to create Prešeren praline, named after the beloved Slovenian poet France Prešeren, which consists of rich chocolate praline with nougat and hazelnut. The product quickly became revered and is now enjoyed across Slovenia. In 2008, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth visited Slovenia, the President gifted her a box of Chocolate shop Cukrček Prešeren pralines. Chocolate shop Cukrček went on to open several stores which exclusively sell the brand’s delicious offerings. The company is now focusing on creating new chocolate varieties with unique flavours and beautiful shapes. In 2016, Luka set out to make the Guinness World Record for the largest chocolate bar by area. The final product weighed an incredible 1.4 tonnes and measured in at 135 m ². Luka dedicated the project with love to his wife and even proposed to her at the annual Festival Čokolade event. After the size was verified, the chocolate marvel was shared and devoured by festival attendees. The following year, Luka took his ambition further, creating the largest chocolate flag in Italy and incorporating all three colours. The Cukrček stores are renowned in Ljubljana and have won several awards. The brand’s most popular flavours are a creamy dark chocolate with Teran, a Slovenian red wine, a dark chocolate sprinkled with Slovenian salt, and a praline fruit and nut bar. One enthusiastic buyer reviewed the brand’s Teran flavoured chocolate saying, “It has a good dark colour to it, a pleasant glossy sheen, and a rich aroma. The wine content has made the chocolate a little softer than one might expect and lends it a very pleasant, subtly alcoholic note to the overall taste. As the complex cocoa notes build on the palate, you taste deep chocolatey flavours with hints of coffee and tobacco, and the finish is a lively blend of bittersweet cocoa and a soft, mildly alcoholic note.” Every year, in front of the store, employees roast fresh almonds laced with caramel and a top-secret ingredient. After market day in Slovenia, it has become tradition for families to buy themselves almonds or chocolate praline to take home. Chocolate shop Cukrček consistently innovates with exotic new flavours and undertakes exciting projects to expand its portfolio. The brand currently sells in Japan, the USA, and the United Arab Emirates. As Chocolate shop Cukrček uses raw materials, it is necessary for the business to keep its production small. As well as visiting the specialist chocolate stores, customers have access to international delivery so that everyone can enjoy its mouthwatering confectionery. The brand offers secure shopping and a 100% chocolate satisfaction guarantee to assure customers of its devotion to the highest product quality. E

Food & Drink Awards 2023 | 17 The company and its workers remain abreast of industry trends to maintain its position as the best chocolatiers on the market. Chocolate shop Cukrček has recognised that many companies have recently raised their prices and has committed to keeping its prices consistent over time. The magic of chocolate is not just in the irresistible product but also in the elegant packaging. Chocolate shop Cukrček prides itself on innovation and is enthusiastic to deliver its beautiful designs and new flavours to its cherished customers. Current trends in the chocolate industry include variations in the shapes of pralines and the use of food colouring. Chocolate shop Cukrček is passionate about its fresh, raw ingredients and would rather use a selection of fruits and nuts to add colour and flavour to its heavenly chocolate. The business remains an industry innovator but is not afraid to reject trends that do not align with its values. Its chocolate bars feature a range of delicious and distinctive flavours, including apple strudel, chilli, pear, lemon, strawberry-vanilla, and many more. Other products include boxed candies, rich spreads, creamy mousses, and hot chocolate powders. Chocolate shop Cukrček also sells sweet commemorative gifts with chocolate personalised to a customer’s choice of logo, packaging, and taste. The brand’s newest releases are its Candies Dragees, a tasty selection of chocolate-coated nuts, succulent raisins, and coffee flavoured chocolates. With its sophisticated packaging, the sweet treats include a mixture of white, milk, and dark chocolate to excite the tastebuds of all chocolate lovers. The rich flavours and aromatic scents of Chocolate shop Cukrček’s Candies Dragees make the perfect gift for all chocoholics. When hiring, the chocolatier seeks employees with a mutual passion for chocolate and is dedicated to fostering creativity, encouraging them to experiment with new flavour combinations. At Chocolate shop Cukrček, employees are one big family and chocolate is a valued family member. In Slovenia, it is not common to train in chocolate making so many young people approach the business to learn more about cacao and the chocolate production process. Chocolate making is an art form that requires a lot of practice. Chocolate shop Cukrček continues to demonstrate its knowledge and expertise through the creation of exquisite designs and delectable flavour combinations. Looking to the future, Chocolate shop Cukrček will focus its efforts on launching the brand in Croatian and Italian markets. The company is excited to deliver its sweet treats to new countries and build relationships with other renowned chocolatiers based on their mutual passion for chocolate. With two decades of experience, Chocolate shop Cukrček is an internationally celebrated brand and a beloved creator of decadent confectionary. Driven by its desire for customer satisfaction, the business will continue to push the boundaries of chocolate making with unique flavours, spectacular shapes, and inspiring projects. We cannot wait to see what new avenues for innovation the brand will discover next. Chocolate shop Cukrček has received our Food and Drink Award for this year’s Chocolate Shop of the Year. Contact Details Contact: Luka Bonotelli Company: Benedict d.o.o, Čokoladnica Cukrček Web Address:

Jun22596 18 | LUXlife Magazine The professional food manufacturer is committed to the pursuit of excellence and strives for high standards of quality control and reliable after-sales service support. Clients come from a range of food sectors, including candy manufacturers, biscuit factories, chocolate factories, pastry shops, snack manufacturers, and many more. Whether a small producer or larger manufacturer, Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is passionate about building long-term relationships with its customers. It is the manufacturer’s mission to help clients maximise efficiency, improve product quality, and maintain a competitive edge in their industries. Core values of collaboration, customer centricity, innovation, and quality control are fundamental pillars that have established the business as a leader in food machinery. The company maintains best practices by monitoring the manufacturing process of new machines. It is essential to define the specifications, materials, components, and performance standards required for each machine. Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. creates a production plan to organise the manufacturing process, with trial tests and checkpoints to ensure that quality standards are adhered to. Through regular inspections and project management, the manufacturer can be certain that its machines consistently achieve exceptional results. These practices have placed Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. at the forefront of Japan’s manufacturing sector. In recent times, the food and drink industry has experienced significant developments that have required manufacturers to adapt to consumer demands. There is now increasing pressure to produce healthier products with an emphasis on clean label ingredients and organic products. This has led to the development of new recipes and updates to existing products. Consumers are also interested in socially responsible investment, favouring products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. To meet these requirements, companies are exploring greener packaging materials, waste reduction strategies, and renewable energy sources. Due to changing government regulations, companies worldwide must enforce stricter guidelines for food safety, labelling accuracy, and a more transparent business ethos. In order to comply with these new requirements, businesses must invest in quality control systems, traceability technology, and stringent food safety protocols. Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has adapted its machine development to meet consumer demand for healthier food and drink options. The manufacturer is particularly proud of its sustainability practices, which focus on eco-friendly packaging solutions, reduced energy consumption, and waste minimisation. Sep23498 Food Machinery Manufacturers of the Year 2023 - China Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is one of Japan’s leading manufacturers of candy machines, chocolate machines, biscuit machines, and other popular food machinery. With over 40 years of experience, the manufacturer offers a comprehensive service, including the design, development, and manufacturing of various food processing equipment. Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. provides clients with advanced solutions to achieve mutual success. The business has won our award for this year’s Food Machinery Manufacturers of the Year – China. The business’s highly skilled workforce has paved the way for its success. In the hiring process, the manufacturer seeks employees that align with its core values and contribute to its positive company culture. At Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd., it is essential that workers possess the necessary skills to grow within their field. Across all aspects of the company, employees require a high degree of knowledge and expertise. The manufacturer aims to hire workers who have an adaptable approach to their work and can adjust to changing circumstances. In the ever-evolving world of food manufacturing, innovation is essential, and employees must embrace new technologies and learn quickly. To continue fostering its culture of collaboration, the business looks for skilled communicators who understand the importance of teamwork. Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. relies on its employees’ diverse skills and unique experiences to provide advanced solutions for its valued clients. Through nurturing workers’ creative thinking, the manufacturer aims to consistently improve and push the limits of innovation in the industry. With an internal culture of professionalism and respect, the business aspires to foster continuous learning by providing opportunities for development. Employees regularly partake in team-building activities and cross-department collaboration. The company has adopted an

open-door policy to encourage workers to share feedback, ideas, and suggestions with the management team. Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. believes that its culture not only defines the company but also reflects its brand. The business understands the essential role that its workers play and aims to reward them for their valuable contributions. By attracting a talented workforce, the manufacturer can continue to exceed customers’ expectations with its excellent products and services. An exciting development for the business is a brand-new gummy machine with some striking features. The cooking and raw material feeding systems are fully automated and have dustless vacuum feeding to ensure the highest standards of hygiene. The candy manufacturing system has a compact design with high production capability. By positioning the forming and cooling system on a platform, the design saves vital space. Placing the depositor in the middle now allows candies to move from one side to another for demoulding and cooling. The new equipment is sealed to align with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, which was previously challenging due to the starch powder used in production. The company has also developed an innovative depositing method by substituting its earlier left and right movements with an up-and-down system. Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has remained steadfast in its commitment to customer-centricity, collaboration, innovation, and excellence. These values, alongside its high-quality products and services, have established the manufacturer as a trusted partner. With the support of its skilled teams and advanced technology, the business will continue to deliver cutting-edge solutions that exceed industry standards. We are eager to see how the company will continue to increase efficiency and improve product quality for its esteemed clients and their consumers. For its dedication to consistent innovation and exceptional products, Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has received a Food and Drink Award for this year’s Food Machinery Manufacturers of the Year – China. Contact Details Contact: Yin Victor Company: Shanghai FUDE Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd Web Address: