After testing and tasting their way through the best in food and drink in the county, the Sussex Food & Drink Awards judges have reached a verdict.
The best farmers, producers, eateries, markets and food shops were judged, thousands of votes of food and drink lovers in the county were reviewed and following much debate, the finalists were chosen.
Clive Beddall OBE, chair of the judges, oversaw the judges’ debate hosted at Knill James’s offices in Lewes.
He said: “Once again, the quality and diversity of our finalists is superb and we have some exciting newcomers alongside old favourites.
“We are now looking forward to announcing our winners at the Sussex foodie event of the year, the awards banquet, at the Amex hosted by Sally Gunnell OBE and the BBC’s Danny Pike.”
Paula Seager, MD of Natural PR who organises the awards, said: “The calibre of our grand finalists speaks volumes about the quality of the food and drink industry across the county.”
Tickets for the Sussex Food & Drink Awards banquet, a sumptuous seven-course Sussex feast created by Azure Catering and lively awards ceremony, which will be held on January 31 at the Amex Stadium, are now on sale at www.sussexfoodawards.biz
The three grand finalists in each of the eight awards categories in alphabetical order are:
Best Sussex Eating Experience, sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter Solicitors: The Cat, West Hoathly, West Sussex; The Ram Inn, Firle, East Sussex; Wabi, Horsham, West Sussex.
Sussex Farmer of the Year, sponsored by Knill James: Harry Goring, the Wiston Estate, Steyning, West Sussex; Martin and Gundrada Hole, Montague Farm, Pevensey, East Sussex; Phil and Steve Hook, Longleys Farm, Hailsham, East Sussex
Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative: Caroline’s Dairy, Sidlesham, West Sussex; High Weald Dairy, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex; Just Brownies, Partridge Green, West Sussex.
Sussex Farmers’ Market of the Year, sponsored by Harveys: Chichester, West Sussex; Lewes, East Sussex; Steyning, West Sussex.
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Natural PR Ltd: Dark Star Brewing Co, Partridge Green, West Sussex; Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling, East Sussex; Wobblegate, Bolney, West Sussex.
Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop, sponsored by the Sussex Food & Drink Network: The Hungry Guest, Petworth, West Sussex; The Sussex Produce Company, Steyning, West Sussex; Veasey and Sons Fishmonger, Forest Row, East Sussex
Sussex Butcher of the Year, sponsored by Natural Farms: Archers, Westfield, East Sussex; Bramptons Butchers, Brighton, East Sussex; John Murray Butchers, Loxwood, West Sussex
Previously announced, Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Gram UK Ltd and Cheese Please: Charlie Tayler, South Lodge, Horsham, West Sussex; Jimmy Gray, Jeremy’s Restaurant, Borde Hill, West Sussex; Ryan Hunter, Wingrove House, Alfriston, East Sussex.
The County Times is media partner of the Sussex Food & Drink Awards.