Food awards moved to beat dry January!

Sussex Food and Drink Awards night will now be held on Wednesday 1 February...

Food awards Sussex

The festive season is one of the busiest times of the year for Sussex food and drink producers, retailers and restaurants, but they can look forward to a rare night off, full of celebrations, as the countdown begins for the spectacular Sussex Food & Drink Awards Banquet on Wednesday 1 February 2017 at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton.

Dubbed as ‘the Sussex Foodie event of the year’, organisers are urging people to book their tickets early for this special awards ceremony to avoid disappointment and come and celebrate the first night of ‘fun February’ with over 350 leaders in the food, drink and farming industry.

Said Paula Seager, co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC, which runs the awards, “We made the decision to move the awards banquet this year as ‘dry January’ often sees many people stepping away from the over indulgence of Christmas.

These awards are all about supporting and boosting our wonderful Sussex food and drink producers, farmers, local markets, farm shops, restaurants and pubs and we want to embrace that fully with our guests by introducing fun February.”

Olympic gold medalist and patron to the awards, Sally Gunnell OBE, will host the awards ceremony with Danny Pike of BBC Sussex. Winners will be revealed and receive their coveted trophies after guests have been treated to a wonderful ‘Sussex bubbly and ale reception’ followed by a superb seven-course banquet created by Sodexo Prestige Principal Chef, Malcolm Emery and his catering team at the Amex Stadium.

Said Malcolm, “We are very proud to sponsor these awards and every year we are able to work with some incredible produce kindly provided by a number of excellent local food and drink producers which allows us to create a truly sumptuous feast. This year we will be showcasing the very best seasonal fish, meat, vegetables, chocolates, cheese and wine that Sussex has to offer.”

Celebrating its eleventh year, the awards ceremony will welcome an impressive line up of Grand Finalists, all anxious to see who will be crowned best Sussex butcher, food producer, drink producer, farmer, young chef, farmers market, food shop, eating experience, newcomer and street food vendor of the year.

Said Paula, “We are so excited about celebrating with our superb Grand Finalists at the banquet in February as they are all winners in our eyes. There are so many hidden treasures on our doorstep here in Sussex and we hope these awards help people to discover them. It’s so important that we continue to support them and we want to spread the word and encourage everyone this Christmas to get out and about and try something deliciously new and local.”

For more information on the awards and to book your tickets for the banquet visit

The 2017 Grand Finalists, strictly in alphabetical order, are:

Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative
Noble and Stace Chocolatiers, Midhurst, West Sussex
Ouse Valley Foods, Piltdown, East Sussex
The Real Pie Company, Crawley, West Sussex

Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Rix & Kay
Nyetimber Vineyard, West Chiltington, West Sussex
Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling Common, East Sussex
Wobblegate, Bolney, West Sussex

Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Wealden District Council
Cowdray Farm Shop, Midhurst, West Sussex
Eggs to Apples, Hurst Green, East Sussex
Tablehurst Farm Limited, Forest Row, East Sussex

Sussex Butcher of the Year, co-sponsored by Plumpton College & RP Meats Wholesaler Ltd
A C Coughtrey Butchers, Pulborough, West Sussex
Glyn Thomas & Son Ltd, Lindfield, West Sussex
Nick the Butcher, Hartfield, East Sussex

Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harveys of Lewes
Forest Row Village Market, East Sussex
Lewes Food Market, Market Tower (weekly), East Sussex
Shoreham Farmers Market, West Sussex

Sussex Eating Experience of the Year, sponsored by SuperFast Thermapen®
The Crown, Hastings, East Sussex
The Earl of March, Lavant, West Sussex
The Sussex Ox, Polegate, East Sussex

Sussex Newcomer of the Year, co-sponsored by Spofforths and Sussex Food and Drink Network
The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst, West Sussex
The Bluebird Tea Co Shop, Brighton
The Set Restaurant, Brighton

Sussex Farmer of the Year, sponsored by Natural PR in association with Farmers Weekly
Jeremy Davis and Lynne Curtis, Lynne’s Organic Farm, Eridge, East Sussex
Andrew and Joanne Knowles, Trenchmore Farm, Cowfold, West Sussex
Camilla and Roly Puzey, Saddlescombe Farm, Poynings, West Sussex

Sussex Street Food Vendor of the Year, co-sponsored by Food Rocks and Horsham District Food and Wine Festival
Garlic Wood Farm, Steyning, West Sussex
Jah Jyot, Southwater, West Sussex
Pig and Jacket, Lewes, East Sussex

Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Sodexo Prestige
Rachel Burroughs, Camelia Restaurant, South Lodge Hotel, Lower Beeding, West Sussex
Anna Shopland, The Fountain Inn, Plumpton Green, East Sussex
Michael Sutherland, The Sussex Ox, Polegate, East Sussex

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