A DOZEN of the top food and drink producers, suppliers and purveyors from the Observer area are in the running for a top award.
Farmers, butchers and food shop owners are among the finalists vying to be crowned the county’s best in the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2013/14.
They were honoured at an event last week hosted by Sally Gunnell at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, where 68 finalists from across the county enjoyed local food and drink and met the sponsor judges, winners from previous years and learnt about what could make them the winner of this year’s coveted trophies.
This year the local finalists include:
- Sussex Farmer of the Year Award, sponsored by Spofforths – Tim Hassel, Goodwood
- Best Sussex Food Producer, sponsored by the Southern Co-operative – Farmhouse Cookery, Bosham; Goodwood Estate, Goodwood; Montezuma’s Chocolate, Chichester
- Best Sussex Eating Experience, sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter – The Leconfield, Petworth; The Horse Guards Inn, Tillington
- Best Sussex Farmers’ Market, sponsored by Harveys – Arundel Farmers Market
- Sussex Butcher of the Year, sponsored by Natural Farms – John Murray, Loxwood
- Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop, sponsored by Cheese Please and Natural PR – Pallant of Arundel, Arundel; The Hungry Guest Shop, Petworth
- Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by the Sussex Food and Drink Network – Arundel Brewery, Arundel; Edgecumbe Tea and Coffee, Arundel
“I want to congratulate all the finalists in this year’s awards,” said Sally, patron of the Sussex Food and Drink Awards. “This event is a great opportunity for finalists to discover how to make the most of this competition which is all about boosting the local food market.”
All the grand finalists get free tickets to the Sussex Food and Drink Awards Banquet on January 30, when the winners will be announced.
“It’s going to be another really exciting year for the awards with some truly excellent candidates including lots of new names, as well as some familiar ones, who have made it on to the shortlist,” said Paula Seager, co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC, which runs the awards.
“We are so lucky that Sussex is blessed with a wealth of glorious food and drink, from the beautiful South Downs and its coastal waters, to the huge number of creative and hard-working producers and manufacturers in the county who are creating award-winning food and drink every day.”
To vote for your favourite, visit www.sussexfoodanddrinkawards.biz – details of how to text your vote can also be found on the website. Voting is open until September 13.