Success for Spanish importer

A Spanish ham and charcuterie importer has been crowned 'Speciality Importer of the Year' at this year's Great Taste Awards.

Delicioso, a distributor specialising in authentic Spanish foods and wine, has won several prestigious awards since its launch less than four years ago, including 'Best International Meat Product' at the Food and Drink Expo 2006 for its Iberico ham.

It has contracts with leading retailers and delicatessens nationwide and has featured in a number of publications, including The Saturday Telegraph and the BBC Good Food Magazine. The company operates from near Oxford and is run by Jose Luis Alvarez and Kate Shirley-Quirk.

Shirley-Quirk said: "We are delighted to be honoured by this prestigious award. We feel that it reflects the work and passion we have put into developing the business, the zeal of the fine food sector in this country to find the best quality products - and the eagerness of the discerning British public to enjoy the food and wine of Spain.

"We are always enthused by our customers telling us how much they appreciate the opportunity to purchase really authentic Spanish products in the UK.'

The Great Taste Awards is an annual competition rewarding gastronomic excellence in foods both from Britain and imported from abroad; the climax of which is an award-ceremony held as part of the prestigious Speciality and Fine Food Fair at London's Olympia.

The 'Speciality Importer of the Year' award itself is sponsored by the Fair organizers, Fresh RM, and is highly prized amongst importers of fine foods as recognition of their work.