Whitby company Noble's Shellfish & Curing wins three Great Taste awards

A Whitby fish company has become a “star of 2019” in prestigious food and drinks awards.

By Steve Bambridge
Thursday, 29th August 2019, 10:40 am
Rachel and John Noble celebrate with children Sean and Leo.
Rachel and John Noble celebrate with children Sean and Leo.

Noble’s Shellfish & Curing Whitby, based at High Normanby, was successful at the Guild of Fine Foods’ Great Taste Awards 2019.

Out of 12,772 products from over 100 different countries to the Great Taste awards, Noble’s was awarded a 1-star Great Taste award and two 2-star Great Taste awards.

A 1-star award is for a food that “delivers fantastic flavour” and was awarded to Noble’s white crab meat.

Sign up to our daily The Scarborough News Today newsletter

A 2-star award means judges dubbed them “above and beyond delicious” and winners of that award were the firm’s Whitby kippers and Whitby kipper fillets.

Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, buyers, retailers and producers, as well as food writers and journalists, Great Taste is acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.

Company director John Noble said: “My great grandfather David James Wood was born in 1869 in Whitby. In the 1891 census David and Martha Wood (nee Harland) were living in Kiln Yard, afoot of the famous 199 Steps, the yard my parents lived when I was born in 1962.

David and Martha ran a small business curing herring, otherwise known as kippers, after cleaning and brining the herrings would be hung to dry in preparation for the cold smoking process, David would travel to the local sawmill in his pony and trap pulled by his pony “Polly” to collect shavings and sawdust before preparing the smoking fires for the kipper house.

As well as curing the herring to make kippers they would sell crabs and winkles they gathered from the scuar below the cliffs and Whitby Abbey, and the rest as they say is, history.”

Mr Noble added: “Some 10 years ago the business was sold due to no one being able to take over and run operations and then closed down. Having worked in the oil and gas industry for 36 years, I realised it was time to end my travelling days and decided to set up in our new factory with the help of my wife, relatives with advice and over 60 years’ experience and knowhow, and our small team went into production in March 2018.

“We traditionally cure and smoke all our own products using skills passed down through five generations and keeping the heritage of the curing and smoking industry alive here in Whitby. We responsibly source our fish, where possible with full traceability.

“All our shellfish is locally caught and we process our shellfish fresh daily.

“Winning three awards in our first year back in business is a fantastic achievement and proves to us that the skills used, and attention taken in the production of our products, ends in satisfaction for our customers.”

Great Taste 2019 will reach its finale on Sunday September 1 at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London, when the Great Taste Golden Fork trophy winners for each region are revealed, followed by the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2019.