Beverley’s much-loved White Rabbit Chocolatiers shop and café has received yet more ‘Great Taste Awards’ recognition, this time for a truffle and one of its popular hot chocolate drinks.
The shop’s ‘rosemary caramel with salt’ truffle has been awarded ‘2 Star’ status, while the recently-opened White Rabbit Chocolate Café’s ‘Georgian’ hot chocolate has been granted a ‘1 Star’.
This brings White Rabbit’s Great Taste accolades total to 19 since 2009, including a 3 Star award and Golden Fork nomination for their blackcurrant with juniper truffle in 2014.
Business Manager Ed Hawkes said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been recognised again, as we’re passionate about experimenting with new tastes to excite our customers, and continually offering them something fresh.
“Therefore, the Great Taste Awards are an important mark of quality for us.”
Ed added that he and the rest of the family-led team are particularly pleased with the recognition for their speciality hot chocolate, as it was the inspiration for their new chocolate café in the town’s Dyer Lane.
“We developed this drink especially for Beverley’s Georgian Festival a couple of years ago, where we gave a talk about chocolate.
“We made 40 cups of our special blend and served them to festival guests, and they went down a treat.
“After that, we found customers would increasingly come into the shop and request coffee, hot chocolate and cake, and that’s how the idea for our new chocolate café was effectively born.”
Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is a highly respected benchmark for the best food and drink in the UK, and is seen as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world.
Speciality food entries, ranging from meats to cheeses and soft drinks, are blind-tasted by panels of specialists including top chefs, food writers, food critics and restaurateurs. They look for great taste, while also taking into account the texture, aroma, appearance and quality of ingredients used.
A 2 Star award is classed as ‘outstanding’, where a 1 Star is ‘simply delicious’.
The 2017 selection process saw over 500 judges come together at 62 judging days from March through to early July. They blind-tasted the entries in teams of 3 or 4, to ensure a balance of expertise, age and gender.
There were 12,366 entries in 2017, with 165 of those achieving 3 Star awards, 1,011 being awarded 2 Star accolades and 3,171 getting 1 Star.
This means that only around 35 per cent of the foods entered achieved accreditation, officially ranking White Rabbit’s fare once again amongst the best in the country.
And this recognition represents the latest step towards White Rabbit’s ambition to be part of Beverley’s transformation into a foodie destination to rival the likes of York and Leeds.
The family team, made up of ‘Master Chocolatier’ Sally Hawkes, her son Ed and daughter Amy, are continually looking at ways to expand their repertoire, and recently added savoury dishes to the café menu, featuring Amy’s own signature rye bread, paired with toppings such as chorizo and roasted red peppers, and feta cream with confit tomatoes.
They have also developed a range of milk shakes inspired by their original Great Taste Awards 2009-winning bars, milk chocolate and Yorkshire honeycomb, and white chocolate and raspberry with amaretti. And they also offer a delicious range of ice cream plates, featuring award-winning Purbeck ice cream from Dorset, which was recently listed by The Daily Telegraph as one of the ’50 foods to try before you die’, in flavour combinations including chocolate orange and banoffee.
With a commitment to outstanding quality, taste and ethically sourced ingredients, the family trio want White Rabbit to be seen as THE place to go for families and individuals seeking a little time out and luxury amid the every day, making a visit there an all-round, chocolate-inspired, eye-opening experience.
As well as the shop and café, they offer a range of other services, including chocolate-making parties and corporate team building events.