Tim Wimbourne of Braidwood Food Co had never entered a food awards competition before, so he was pleased to come out on top with three gold medals and the Champion Dried Pasta title at the 2023 Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards.
“It was totally unexpected!” he told Region.
“But it feels pretty great.”
Tim started the business after his native Mountain Pepper orchard was destroyed by bushfires in late 2019. Despite the ongoing stresses of fires, floods and the pandemic, his business is thriving.
“This journey has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. The bushfires were a heartbreaking setback, but they also ignited our determination to rebuild and create something new despite rolling COVID lockdowns,” Tim said.
The awards are run annually by the Royal Agricultural Society. Medals are awarded by an independent group of judges made up of industry professionals, retailers and chefs. Gold medals are awarded for scores above 85. The mission of the awards is “to shape the future of Australian agriculture and to continuously improve Australian produce to award-quality levels”.
Tim’s pasta is made using premium South Australian semolina flour from a family-run farm, and rainwater, with some varieties flavoured with ingredients from local, organic Braidwood region producers such as Monaro purple garlic and his own Mountain Pepper.
A key part of what makes the Braidwood Food Co. pasta so special is Tim’s specially treated brass “dies”: the plates the dough is pushed through to create the unique shapes. By slightly corroding the brass Tim creates a rougher surface area on the pasta which means sauces stick to the surface better.
One of Tim’s most popular pastas is his Mountain Pepper Gigli, which translates as lily. The fluted and ruffled cone shape makes it ideal for capturing sauce, and the mountain pepper flavour pairs well with many traditional Italian dishes.
The judges at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show gave Tim’s gigli pasta the highest score in three years of any pasta at the show.
“The champions award at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show is not just an affirmation of our resilience but also a testament to the standards we uphold in crafting our artisanal pasta,” Tim said.
Sydney Royal Fine Food Committee Chair Lachlan Bowtell said they were pleased that more small producers were entering the competition and benefiting from judges’ feedback.
“It’s exciting to see the growth across the competitions and the increasing number of medals awarded at that top level, reaffirming that the quality of Australian produce continues to improve,” he said.
Other local winners included Three Mills Bakery who were awarded champions awards for their salt and pepper baguette and salted chocolate rye cookie, and another gold medal for their quinoa and walnut sourdough.
Braidwood Food Company is at 71 Duncan Street, Braidwood.
It is open from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Visit the website to find a stockist, or follow the business on Facebook and Instagram.
See the full list of winners at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW website.
Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.