FreeFrom Hero 2019 Sponsored by Lucy Bee

For where to buy the winning products, go here.
FFor pictures of the presentations and the party – go here.

FreeFrom Hero 2019




Dr Hazel Gowland

Allergy Action

Hazel has had a severe allergy to nuts and peanuts since early childhood and has survived a number of life-threatening reactions herself. She has been a tireless campaigner both with the Anaphlyaxis Campaign and through her own Allergy Action organisation.

Hazel investigates deaths and ‘near misses’ from food allergy, provides expert evidence and undertakes scientific, clinical and consumer research into why and how allergen avoidance may fail and how those at risk may be protected. She also supports and advises those at risk from severe food allergies and those who work with them including families, schools, food enforcement officers, local and national government, doctors, specialist nurses and dieticians.

In October 2018, Hazel completed a PhD – Food allergy: innovation in advocacy, research and training to support and protect those at risk at Kingston University, and has recently been appointed a Visiting Fellow in the School of Medicine at Southampton University

Runners Up

Chef Akila - Chef Akila is a 75 year-old Indian grandmother living in Yorkshire. After being diagnosed with cancer and serious medical problems 5 years ago she set out to develop a range of free-from, healthier gourmet Indian food. Using her traditional recipes and working with nutritionists and doctors she has developed more  than 25 dishes all of which are gluten free and six of which are free of all 14 allergens. Ingredients are locally sourced and all dishes are hand cooked, flash frozen and sold by mail order.

Deb Bailey-Knibbs - Labyrinth Holistic Café: Not only is Labyrinth a not-for-profit business, it is 100% for the community. Deb caters for everyone, all diets and are 100% gluten free. She and all her staff are knowledgeable, totally allergy aware, well trained, friendly and passionate about giving others the best experience they can. The idea is that the food can all be tweaked at the last minute to accommodate different diets and allergies. The food is also priced to be affordable by all.  
Deb also operates a food bank, pay it forward scheme, and collects filled handbags for ladies on hard times. 

Lucy Finniemore - Higher Lank Farm: Lucy started catering for families with allergies over 10 years ago after a mum contacted her to ask if she could help and her passion and knowledge developed from there. She takes clear and meticulous steps to keep all her meals safe and free from cross contamination. 
“I don’t think you realise how keyed up you are by food all the time, until you don’t need to be. We are now completely relaxed in Lucy’s care, which is just brilliant. We know she gets it – she understands cross contamination and ‘may contains’, and is immensely reassuring in her manner.”

Ryan Panchoo - Borough 22: Ryan makes doughnuts, but not just any doughnuts. His are gluten and milk and soy and egg free. Ryan started making freefrom doughnuts for his own family back in 2011 when his wife and children were diagnosed as gluten dairy intolerant. Now he sells them from his site and through various local outlets. But he is a hero within the freefrom community because of the endless hours he has devoted to creating bespoke doughnuts for children who can eat as few as four ingredients.

Special Awards:

  1. The Innovation Award – Sponsored by Food Matters Live
  2. Retailer of the Year Award – Sponsored by Oakland International
  3. Freefrom Hero – Sponsored by Lucy Bee

Individual Categories:

  1. Breakfast – Sponsored by the London Brunch Fest 
  2. Milk Product Alternatives – Sponsored by House
  3. Bread – Sponsored by Ilumi 
  4. Store cupboard – Sponsored by Orgran
  5. Pasta and Pizza – Sponsored by FREEE by Doves Farm
  6. Superfoods & sport supplements – Sponsored by Tiana Fair Trade Organics
  7. Products made with FODMAP Friendly ingredients – Sponsored by FODMAP Friendly
  8. ‘Food to go’ – Sponsored by the Nairn's Oatcakes
  9. Down the Pub – Sponsored by Asda
  10. Savoury Snacks and Crackers – Sponsored by SYNLAB
  11. Meaty & Fishy Ready Meals – Sponsored by the Allergy + FreeFrom Show
  12. Veggie Ready Meals – Sponsored by Delamere Dairy 
  13. Foods designed for children – Sponsored by Genius Gluten Free
  14. Tea Time! – Sponsored by the Anaphylaxis Campaign 
  15. Desserts and Puddings – Sponsored by Synergis Marketing 
  16. Confectionery and chocolate – Sponsored by Wellaby's
  17. Bars – cereal, fruit, superfood, grain-free etc – Sponsored by Romer Labs
  18. FreeFrom Gifts – Sponsored by Tesco
  19. No Top 14 – Sponsored by the The Food Talk Show
  20. Best product from a start-up – Sponsored by OF+ Consulting
If you have any queries or would like to talk to us about the awards - please email Michelle or Cressida or call on +44 (0)20 7722 2866