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Gourmet news: Taste of Kent Award winners and more

PUBLISHED: 11:14 05 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:14 05 May 2016

Taste of Kent Awards winners

Taste of Kent Awards winners

Archant

All the food news from across the county: Taste of Kent Award winners 2016, and more

Paul Saxby, Arcade FisheriesPaul Saxby, Arcade Fisheries

Chapmans expands in Borough Green

Kent fish-sourcing company Chapman’s has launched a new processing facility in Borough Green, near Sevenoaks.

Now 25 years old and renowned as the leading fish-sourcing company in the south east, Chapman’s has forged close connections with local fishermen to collect catches straight from the boats, transport it to Borough Green and move it on to its clients within hours.

The company serves some of the south east and London’s most prestigious restaurants and more than 60 of the head chefs and managers of those restaurants attended the launch event to see what goes into the delivery of fresh fish and get to know the organisation a little better.

Damien GreenDamien Green

Keith Chapman, founder of the company, said: “When I first opened a market stall to sell fish a quarter of a century ago, I never would have imagined this is where I’d be today. The past 25 years have seen us grow slowly and organically, relying entirely on our reputation to gain new clients by referral.

“Our new facility at Borough Green will allow us to expand our reach even more without any negative effect on quality and we expect to be able to deliver more fish, and greater variety, fresher and faster than we have before.”

Chapman’s also has its own fish restaurant in Canterbury, Chapman’s Seafood Bar & Brasserie.

Gone fishing

Fresh fish is one of the most popular stalls at Kent’s Farmers’ Markets. Finalist in te Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food and Drink Awards last autumn, Steve Theobold - known to his customers as Steve the Fish - sells fish from Kent day boats at markets across East and Mid Kent.

“After being out fishing, very few fishermen have the time or energy left to travel to sell at markets, so we provide that crucial link between them and local shoppers. There are less than 200 fishermen left in the County, but they operate small vessels, so fish very sustainably, preserving this vital, as well as delicious, local resource.”

Arcade Fisheries is a family-run business specialising in fish and shellfish from Rye and Hastings. Established in 1937, it is now run by Paul Saxby who has been involved in the business since a boy.

“We’d been thinking about setting up a second shop in Kent, but realised Farmers’ Markets offered us the chance to reach a lot more shoppers. Between us, Steve and I visit 20 Kent markets a month, which shows just how much demand there is for top-quality, truly fresh fish.”

Tourism and a tipple

To celebrate English Tourism Week, Chapel Down welcomed Rt Hon Damian Green, MP for Ashford, and Tim Allen, Chairman of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, to its winery. They met with Chapel Down’s ceo Frazer Thompson for a tour of the winery and vineyards that welcome more than 50,000 visitors each year.

Damian Green (pictured above right) said: “Chapel Down is an excellent example of a local business, showcasing our county on an international scale.

“Tourism is so important to our county, it creates over 68,000 jobs, boosting growth and attracting investment in to Kent.”

Taste of Kent Award winners 2016

Produced in Kent’s Taste of Kent Award winners have been revealed and include:

Food Product Ambient Class (also Kent Food Producer of the Year): Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil, AMC Foods, Ramsgate

Bakery and Confectionery Class (also Best Food Product): The Captain’s Crackers, Cracked Black Pepper & Sea Salt, Zingiberi Bakery, Herne Bay

Best Wine: Bacchus, Chapel Down, Tenterden

Best Restaurant: Googies, Folkestone

Farmers’ Market: Rochester

Best Beer: Romney Amber Ale: Romney Marsh Brewery

Best Dining Pub: The George Inn, Molash

Produced in Kent Award: Matthew Kearsey-Lawson, Kent Fine Foods.

To nominate your own candidates in Kent Life and Kent on Sunday’s Food & Drink awards, go to kentfda.co.uk.

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Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

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