Michelin starred chef Kevin Love reveals the UK’s best bar snacks for the Leffe Gastro Bite Awards

Gourmet bar snacks
With Head Chef of the Hinds Head in Bray, Kevin Love, Leffe searched the nation to uncover the top five gourmet bar snacks being devoured at pubs and bars across the UK. Together they are celebrating the winners today at a tasting at the Hinds Head.

Top five
Snacks making the top five for the Leffe Gastro Bites Award were an adventurous salt beef scotch egg (British Larder, Suffolk), a pork crackling salad (Jury’s Inn, Sheffield), popcorn chicken (Parlour, London), lobster tails (Wrygarth Inn, East Riding of Yorkshire) and a gourmet sausage roll (The Jolly Cricketers, Beaconsfield).

Revival
Gone are the days where the nation’s favourite bar snacks were a simple bag of pork scratchings, peanuts or crisps. Pub snacks have undergone a serious revival in recent years which led Leffe, a perfect beer accompaniment for food, to search for the best in conjunction with a top chef.

Inspiring journey
Kevin Love said: “I firmly believe that kitchens are now becoming more involved in bar snacks to provide more gourmet offerings. Pubs can really put themselves on the map nowadays with a tasty bar snack recipe. It was an inspiring journey to try each snack within its local setting and it shows the popularity of the bar snack, with smaller pubs paving the way in offering gourmet beer accompaniments.

Creativity and taste
“We were ultimately looking for five snacks which demonstrated great creativity, originality, appearance and of course, taste. The five recipes we found ticked all these boxes and really complemented the slight hint of bitterness, quince, gooseberry, bitter cherry and apple flavours of Leffe Blonde and the slightly sweet taste of Leffe Brune with its notes of coffee, vanilla and cloves, so they thoroughly deserve to be crowned the UK’s best.”

Worthy winners
Emily Kraftman, Senior Brand Manager for Leffe at AB InBev UK, added: “As a premium Belgian Abbey beer, Leffe tastes delicious with a wide variety of dishes, so we were intrigued to try the top snacks in the country. Like Leffe, all the selected bar snacks have been carefully crafted for a superior taste, making them worthy winners of our first ever Leffe Gastro Bite Awards. Our aim is to grow these awards year on year and encourage more pubs to start serving up great bar snacks for their customers to enjoy with a beer.”

Handpicked
Amanda Baker, landlady from The Jolly Cricketers in Beaconsfield, one of the winning pubs, said: “It’s fantastic to be handpicked by both Kevin and Leffe and be rewarded for the hard work and effort we put in to this snack and others for our customers. Our famous gourmet sausage roll has proved to be a very popular bar snack with the locals, and hopefully after this award even more people will pop in for a beer to try it.”

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