Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food & Drink Awards 2013
PUBLISHED: 10:30 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 10:19 31 July 2013
Having long celebrated the best produce and restaurants Kent has to offer, Kent Life magazine and sister title Kent on Sunday have come together to launch their first ever Food & Drink Awards
These new awards are designed to champion, highlight and offer a showcase to the good and the great from the countys food and drink industry, including local producers and suppliers, small farming businesses, chefs, restaurants, pubs and hoteliers people who care about the countryside and the future of our environment.
The companies nominated will all be voted for by you, our readers. We want to know if youve received a fantastic meal at your local pub or have been impressed by the produce and service at your farmers market or farm shop.
Entry forms are available in this months Kent Life magazine and this weekends Kent On Sunday or get them online at http://www.questionpro.com/a/TakeSurvey?id=3533266&ext_ref=test_response
Entries close on Friday, August 30, 2013.
Dont forget to let us know when you have made your recommendation on our Twitter page @kentlife by using #KLFDA or if you are looking for nominations.
All finalists will be invited to the prestigious awards ceremony, where they will enjoy a Champagne reception and three-course meal based on locally-sourced produce before finding out if they are a winner.
This will take place at Tudor Park Hotel on Thursday, November 14, from 6.30pm to midnight.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
This popular category is open to anyone in the food or drink business who has started a new venture within the last 18 months. It could be any food and drink business but we want to know what impact they have made on the community and whether they have started to achieve any success further afield. Are they helping to promote Kent food and drink to a new audience? Tell us who has impressed you.
BUTCHER OF THE YEAR
This category is here for one reason and that is to praise our many local butchers and everything they do for Kent.
Consider asking your butcher how their meat is hung, prepared and cut and whether it can be traced to a local farm. Are the staff knowledgeable and helpful? Does the butcher play a key role within the community? If so, nominate them!
BEST TEA SHOP OF THE YEAR
We recognise that tea shops are an integral part of the Kent food and drink scene and wed like to know your favourites.
Who makes the best tea, serves the nicest cakes and the freshest scones? Is the jam homemade and are the sandwiches freshly cut and liberally filled?
Most importantly, are most of the ingredients locally sourced? Were looking forward to hearing about your favourites.
INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR
This category acknowledges the hard work Kents independent food and drink retailers put into giving their customers the best possible experience in-store.
It reinforces their role at the heart of the community and showing true innovation with their displays.
We are looking for independent retailers who put local and seasonal at the heart of the food and drink experience and who are proud to work with and support the best the Garden of England has to offer.
BEST FARM SHOP
Just like our farmers markets, a good farm shop needs to have that extra-special something to tempt shoppers away from the supermarket. Are the staff friendly and knowledgeable? Is the range of produce and the layout of an excellent standard, does your local farm shop offer a box scheme?
Is most of the produce sold there grown or raised on that farm, or nearby and if not would the owner be able to tell you where it is from?
BEST FOOD OR DRINK PRODUCER
This category celebrates the countys often unsung local suppliers and producers who play such a vital role in the food community. We are looking for someone who consistently provides a reliable quality of products and services to each of their customers. So whether its your favourite bakery, drinks merchant or meat producer, we want to know why this particular person or business goes that extra mile for you and gets your vote.
BEST FAMILY DINING VENUE
We want to know those establishments that welcome and treat with respect your whole party, from the elderly to very young, and ideally dont banish you to an outer room away from the main dining area. Do they have high-quality menus to suit every age group, provide high chairs if needed, offer useful distractions such as paper and crayons for younger children? Is there a childrens play area and baby-changing facilities? Most importantly is the food of an excellent standard worthy of mum and dad as well as the youngsters?
BEST PUB OF THE YEAR
Combining country pubs and dining pubs, the whole eating out experience needs to be taken into account in this category. Customer service, value for money and the quality of the food should all be accounted for. How well does the establishment use and name local suppliers and seasonal produce throughout its menus? Neighbourhood pubs are at the heart of the community and this category is your chance to give something back for all the enjoyment they give you.
BEST FARMERS MARKET
The key to a good farmers market is not only the range of produce and the quality of stalls but also the principles it supports for example, does it work with other farmers, is most of the produce sold there grown locally? Are the stallholders welcoming and knowledgeable and is the layout easy to navigate? Are any extras offered on a regular basis, such as cookery demonstrations or talks? Is it well advertised and is there good accessibility and parking?
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
The Kent Life and Kent on Sunday restaurant of the year needs to offer an incomparable dining experience, from the ambience to the service and most importantly the food. Is it locally-sourced and does it change with the seasons? Does the chef support local producers and are they recognised on the menu? Look through the wine list, are there local as well as international wines and sparkling wines and can the staff tell you more if you ask? Wed expect nothing less.
CHEF OF THE YEAR
Kent is blessed with outstanding chefs working in our restaurants. The chef of the year should be someone who has devoted themself to serving the best possible food. They will demonstrate technical ability, use of seasonal ingredients, presentation and an understanding of how flavours work together. They will lead and inspire their team and talk to customers knowledgeably about their dishes. Above all, we are looking for passion that magic ingredient that defines true greatness in the kitchen.
BEST KENT FOOD AND DRINK HERO
Kent has a food and drink scene that is more vibrant than many others across the UK. This category celebrates the individual who has made the most impact on the food or drink community someone who goes the extra mile to promote Kent to a wider audience and is passionate about local produce throughout. Now is your chance to nominate your own Kent food and drink hero.