An Interview With Alec Paterson - BoroughBox's CCO and Great Taste Awards Judge

 Alec, our Chief Commercial Officer, might just be the luckiest man. Every year, he gets the incredible opportunity of tasting new and exciting foods from all over the globe! How? Simple, Alec is a Great Taste Award Judge. Great Taste is he world's largest and best food awards system. Double blind, no branding or packaging just very simply, how does it taste?  

Find out what it means to be a food judge, the process of picking the very best of the best and most importantly, what are some of his favourites!

I’m the CCO (Chief Commercial Officer), which in short means I care about our products and how we tell people about them. It's my role and goal to deliver products that excite, offer people new flavours and new experiences. Giving someone food is giving them sustenance. If you can make that exciting and entertaining at the same time, then, well frankly it's just a wonderful job to be in.

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A long long time ago, I ran a gelateria in Soho called Gelupo which I humbly submit is still the best place to get Gelato in the capital. We entered Great Taste, and won a bunch of awards. After the second year of winning awards, I was invited to become a judge. That was 10 years ago. 

You need to have a commercial product, or a product that will be commercial by the time the awards are announced. By commercial, I mean “for sale to the general public’. That’s about it.   

In a normal non-covid year there are 500+ judges. All of whom work in the food industry as producers, chefs, critics and/or retailers etc. There are two primary judging locations - the Guild of Fine Food (GFF) HQ in Gillingham, Dorset and the GFF office by London Bridge. There is a bit of speciality judging that happens elsewhere, but the two locations take the vast majority of the 12,500+ entries every year.

In 2020 GT pulled off a superhuman feat managing to judge through social distancing and lockdown. Given how hard it is to logistically manage 12,500 products in peace time, I think it is astonishing and commendable that they managed to deliver a robust judging system last year.

The difference is enormous.

1 star - means simply delicious. Delivers exactly what you expect. It's faultless. This is the the top 30% of products entered.

2 stars is the top 10% entered - it's everything 1 star is, but there's something a little bit fun about it. Something unusual. Something special. It’s more than just delicious.

3 stars - is very simply the product that you taste and your whole family gets it for Christmas. You need to find out exactly who it is and tell everybody about it. 

There are around 12,500 entries and about a third will win an award. But only 1.5% will win 3 stars


Mount Mayon Pili Nuts - like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. Pili nuts are high in ‘good’ fats, highest of all nuts in vitamin E and wild harvested. I guess the best way to describe the flavour and taste is that they are what macadamia nuts want to be when they grow up. Mount Mayon treats these nuts with the reverence they deserve, and delivers a product that is unmatched by any other nut on earth.   

And also, Bermondsey Street Honey - The Bermondsey Street. If you think that rural honey would be better than urban honey - you are wrong. Urban honey has the flavours of budding gardeners' imaginations.  Bermondsey Street Honey is the greatest of all the urban honey. Unique and frankly unbelievable in its tropical complexity.

We love knowing more about the wonderful world of food, especially from someone who has insider knowledge. Now you know more about The Great Taste Awards, why not browse the Great Taste Award Winners? 

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