A record 11,000 people have already voted for their top choices in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2017, which is seeking the best food and drink producers, farmers, butchers and places serving and selling local produce.
Patron to the awards, Sally Gunnell OBE and organisers are urging people to vote for their favourites at www.sussexfoodawards.biz before voting closes on 24 September.
Said Paula Seager, co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC, which runs the awards, “We are delighted to be celebrating a record number of votes so far this year, but there is still time to vote online to give your favourite the chance of winning gold.
“Voting is very tight so it will be exciting to see who makes it through as grand finalists, which are announced in November. Businesses from across the entire region have made it onto the list including 25 from East Sussex and 35 from West Sussex.”
The county is becoming renowned for its innovation in making artisan food products and this year’s Sussex Food Producer of the Year category, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative, represents so much of what is great about the region.
The impressive finalist line up includes award-winning jelly, chutney, relish, marmalade and jam makers, artisan chocolatiers, mouthwatering pie makers and bakers, delicious cured and air-dried meat producers and superb ice-cream makers.
Farmers Markets have grown enormously in popularity over the last decade and they are one of the best advocates in supporting local and regional food and drink producers which is what the Sussex Food and Drink Awards is all about.
The top ten Sussex Farmers’ Markets have made it onto this year’s finalist list for this category sponsored by Harveys of Lewes – may the best Market win!
The Sussex Drink Producer category, sponsored by Rix & Kay Solicitors, not only offers some of the county’s, but the country’s very best wine producers, brewers, cider makers as well as some unusual non-alcoholic drink producers and for the first time ever a specialist gin maker so make sure your favourite Sussex tipple makes it through to the next round.
Sussex Food Shop of the Year sponsored by Wealden District Council presents a delightful spread of both new and old from across the region, each offering its own unique take on bringing plough to plate.
From traditional family butchers who have passed down their skills from generation to generation, to resourceful outlets who specialise in locally sourced meats or farm shops that have managed to diversify and build a reputation in quality and zero carbon footprint – they are all well represented in this year’s Sussex Butcher of the Year category co-sponsored by Plumpton College and RP Meats Wholesaler Ltd.
Residents of Sussex have an outstanding choice of where they choose to dine out from Michelin star restaurants, country pubs, elegant fine dining, trendy city establishments and gastro pubs, all of which are reflected in the finalist line up in this year’s Best Sussex Eating Experience category, sponsored by Superfast Thermapen, ETI Ltd.
Nominations have now closed for Sussex Newcomer of the Year sponsored by Spofforths, Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Sodexo Prestige and Sussex Farmer of the Year sponsored by Natural PR in association with Farmers Weekly and final judging is now underway before the final three in each are announced in November.
The live finals of the Sussex Street Food of the Year category, sponsored by Food Rocks and Horsham District Food & Drink Festival is open to the public and will take place on Sunday 23 October in Carfax, Horsham.
As well as earning the huge respect and recognition that these awards now carry, winners and runners up in all ten categories will go on to receive their trophies on 1 February 2017 at a BAFTA-style ceremony hosted by awards patron, Sally Gunnell OBE and Danny Pike from BBC Sussex. The ceremony includes a spectacular seven-course Sussex produce banquet produced by Sodexo Prestige at the Amex Stadium.
Vote now by visiting www.sussexfoodawards.biz