BOOM Awards Judges
BOOM Awards: The Judges
We are thrilled to announce a stellar line up of professional judges for our 2023 Awards, bringing a wealth of experience, knowledge and testing capabilities. All judging will be overseen by the Executive Judging Committee, who have the final say in judging panels, decisions and criteria.
Food & Drink Product Judges
The Food & Drink product awards will, as usual, be judged on taste and quality and we are pleased to invite Andy Clarke, Jenny Chandler and Shonette Laffy back into the kitchen alongside our three new BOOM Awards food & drink judges: Xanthe Clay, Romy Gill and Briony May Williams, who will be joining in this tasty work!
Read on to find out a little more about each judge.
Xanthe Clay: Chef & Author
Xanthe Clay has written for The Telegraph for 23 years and pops up from time to time in other media including delicious. magazine and BBC Radio 4. She was President of the Guild of Food Writers 2014-2018 and is currently Academy Chair (UK and Ireland) for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, as well as a Trustee of the Andre Simon Awards. She has written several cookbooks including ‘Recipes to Know by Heart’, ‘10 Minutes to Table’ and ‘The Contented Cook’ and been a food judge for the Great Taste Awards, Young British Foodies Awards, British Street Food Awards, and the Marmalade Awards among others.
Romy Gill: Chef, Author & Broadcaster
Chef Romy Gill MBE is a British/Indian chef, food/travel writer and broadcaster based in the south-west of England. She was the owner and head chef at Romy’s Kitchen. Romy is one of the regular and much-loved chefs on BBC1's Ready Steady Cook and has appeared on many other TV programmes, including Sunday Brunch and Celebrity MasterChef. Romy is also a regular on James Martin’s Saturday Morning and BBC Radio 4's Food Programme. She writes regularly for BBC Food, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times and Ocado Magazine. She released her debut cookbook ‘Zaika – Vegan Recipes from India’ in September 2019 and her second book, ‘On The Himalayan Trail’, is out now and available from bookshops and online retailers.
Briony May Williams: Baker & Presenter
Briony first came to the public’s attention during nine stressful weeks in the tent on the 2018 series of The Great British Bake Off. Progressing through the competition to the semi-final, Briony’s humour and warmth, coupled with her resilience and ingenuity saw her become a firm favourite with the audience. Briony is one of the presenters of Food Unwrapped (Channel 4) and her other credits include The Great Christmas Bake Off (Channel 4), The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice (Channel 4), Steph’s Packed Lunch (Channel 4) and Ainsley’s Food We Love (ITV). Briony has had a regular recipe column in Asda’s Good Living and Bristol Life magazines and has been featured in Hello! magazine. She has also worked with brands such as Wallis, Amazon Prime Video, Dr Oetker, KitchenAid, Gousto, Tefal and Hollands Pies, and has appeared at The Cake and Bake Show, Thames Food Festival and Bishop Auckland Food Festival amongst others.
Jenny Chandler: Food Writer, Chef & Teacher
Jenny Chandler is a freelance food writer and cooking teacher based in Bristol. She has published six cookbooks with a seventh on it’s way! Jenny works with a number of renowned food institutions including Borough Market and Leith’s School of Food and Wine. Jenny is a regular judge for both the Bristol and Bath Good Food Awards, and also judged the Crumbs Awards in 2018. She was also a judge for The Berga Wild Mushroom Cooking Championship, Catalonia, Spain, and is still here to tell the tale! In 2016 Jenny was nominated The United Nations FAO European Ambassador for the International Year of Pulses, and she continues working to promote sustainable diets. She leads the Forward Food Campaign workshops for The Humane Society International UK, working with catering industry chefs to create more environmentally friendly menus, putting more plants on plates. In 2016 Jenny was nominated The United Nations FAO European Ambassador for the International Year of Pulses, and she continues working to promote sustainable diets. She leads the Forward Food Campaign workshops for The Humane Society International UK, working with catering industry chefs to create more environmentally friendly menus, putting more plants on plates.
Andy Clarke: Food & Drink Expert
‘Professional eater and drinker’ Andy Clarke is one of the UKs most exciting and vibrant voices in the food and drink industry. Having worked in food, drink and travel television for a number of years, Andy is happiest when communicating his love of all things edible and sippable on telly, through social media and by hosting events. Andy’s TV production credits include developing and producing 'Saturday Kitchen Live' (BBC1), series producing Both James Martin's French & American Adventures and being responsible for food & drink on 'Gordon, Gino & Fred: Road Trip' (ITV). He also produced and directed a brand series ‘Rachel Khoo’s Chocolate’ (Discovery + / Food Network) and helped to produce ‘The Great Cookbook Challenge’ with Jamie Oliver’ (Channel 4). Andy regularly judges for Great Taste Awards, The British, World Cheese Awards and The British Pie Awards as well as The Independent English Wine Awards. Andy regularly judges for Great Taste Awards, The British and World Cheese Awards and The British Pie Awards amongst many others. His love of wine has led to his judging for the Independent English Wine Awards over the last few years.
Shonette Laffy: Writer & Food Blogger
Shonette Laffy is a digital marketing expert and writer who covers a range of subjects including food & drink, travel and tourism. She currently splits her time working across the websites and social media for Visit Bath, Visit Bristol and BBC Food. She has been a judge for the Bristol Good Food Awards in 2016 & 2017 and the Crumbs Awards in 2018. She has worked with various local food & drink businesses and festivals including Bristol Food Union, Bristol Food Connections, Valley Fest, the British Dal Festival and The Bristol Food Tour. In her spare time Shonette writes food guides on her blog A Life Less Organised and continues her quest to find the city's best roast dinners and rum cocktails.
Beauty & Wellbeing Product Judges
The Beauty & Wellbeing product awards will be judged by our brand-new panel of experts who will review all the information submitted by entrants, with the top 3 finalist products for each category then being put to the test.
Read on to find out a little more about each judge on the panel.
Scott Wimsett: Presenter & Beauty & Fashion Director
Scott Wimsett is a presenter, social media beauty and fashion director and sustainability expert. He has held reporting positions at multiple media platforms as their fashion/beauty correspondent from British Vogue, Hello Magazine, Evening Standard to London Live. Scott is often invited to comment on various news channels and industry panel discussions. In 2020 he launched the www.feelgoodfellowship.com with friend, model, and climate activist Arizona Muse. As a fellow member of the British Beauty Council’s Sustainable Beauty Coalition, Scott is committed to encouraging brands to enter a new age of transparency and accuracy in their messaging. Empowering our citizens to make more sustainable, environmentally positive choices in the brands they support.
Amerley Ollennu: Beauty & Lifestyle Journalist
Amerley Ollennu is an award-winning beauty & lifestyle journalist who regularly contributes to some of the UK’s most well-known titles, including Stylist, Women’s Health, Glamour, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, The Telegraph, and Metro. She’s known for her ability to predict the next big trend, and there is very little she won’t try for a story. Amerley loves to share her experiences and write relatable, informative and trend-led copy for beauty novices and junkies alike.
Janey Lee Grace: Author, Commentator & Radio DJ
Janey Lee Grace is an author, commentator, and co-presenter on the UK’s biggest radio show, BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon. She has written five books on Holistic living including the #1 Amazon best seller ‘Imperfectly Natural Woman’, ‘Imperfectly Natural Home’ and ‘Look Great Naturally’ among others. She also writes columns for many magazines and runs training workshops and consultations on Media Breakthrough for holistic businesses and solopreneurs.
Alex Cullen, Commercial & Marketing Director, Soil Association Certification
Alex is Commercial & Marketing Director at the Soil Association Certification, the UK’s leading organic certification. She joined from NHS Blood and Transplant where she was Head of Marketing, engaging the public to support lifesaving blood and organ donation throughout the pandemic. Before that she was at Head of Marketing at Marks & Spencer, having worked across a number of categories during her time with the retailer, including produce, protein, hospitality, convenience and CSR policy with Plan A. She developed her FMCG experience at Ferrero working across a number of confectionery brands including Kinder Chocolate and Ferrero Rocher.
Jerry Alford, Senior Farming Advisor, Soil Association
Jerry has experience in arable and mixed farming having run the family farm in Devon for 25 years. The farm was initially a dairy farm eventually converting to organic and being run as a beef, sheep and arable unit. At the same time, he converted a range of farm buildings into a holiday cottage complex, was chairman of a local farmer owned co-op grain store and became involved in the grain supply chain nationally.
His role as Senior farming Advisor involves advice to organic farmers and farms looking at organic conversion and the adoption of agroecological practices. He coordinates a range of Innovative Farmers trials as well as being involved in FABulous farmers, and other European projects. He has also advised farmers as part of the DEFRA funded Future Farming Resilience project.
Lisa Oxenham, Style Director, Marie Claire
Lisa is an award-winning health and beauty editor, journalist, stylist, creative director, content creator and brand consultant. With 20 years of editorial experience Lisa is also an accomplished public speaker, panellist and interviewer on a range of topics from sustainability to the future of beauty in a digital world.
Knowledgeable environmentalist and nature-lover Lisa is on the Advisory Board for the British Beauty Council’s Sustainable Beauty Coalition along with inspirational business leaders to champion social and environmental responsibility in business, with the aim to accelerate the sustainability efforts of the industry and support the government agenda in the race to net zero.
Melissa Meakins, UK Sales Manager, Huboo
Melissa is the UK Sales Manager for Huboo, headline sponsor of the BOOM Awards 2023. Huboo is an award-winning fulfilment company who help e-commerce businesses take the hassle out of picking, packing and sending out their parcels by using their services instead. Melissa previously worked for Too Good To Go to help many food businesses reduce food waste and ultimately their impact on the planet. In her spare time, Melissa is a private chef and runs her own catering business and even a crumpet food stall at festivals!
Steve Ashworth, Director, PKF Francis Clark
Though a tax specialist by trade, Steve’s foodie reputation was cemented in 2013 when he won the title of Best Dish at the South West Chef of the Year competition and was 2018 Somerset Life Food and Drink Hero. He's also a Board member of Feeding Bristol, an Ambassador for Hospitality Action and judges for Taste of the West and Guild of Fine Food.