Food + Drink


There are only a few days left to nominate your favourite food and drink businesses for the prestigious Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2017.   For six out of ten categories nominations will close on Wednesday 8 June and all businesses and customers can ensure they are on the list by visiting

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Hilary Knight, co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC with Paula Seager, who run the awards said, “Please do nominate now for your number one Sussex Food Producer, Drink Producer, Food Shop, Farmers Market, Eating Experience and Butcher as without your nomination businesses cannot be reviewed by our judging panel.  Shortlists will be announced for public voting in early July after our Big Reveal event and we are expecting over 10,000 people to vote for their food and drink heroes again this year.”

Nominations are open all through the summer until 8 September for the other four categories, Sussex Young Chef, Newcomer, Street Food and Farmer of the Year.  After this date they will be reviewed and judged by a team of professionals, chaired by Sussex farmer and Nuffield Scholar William Goodwin and the Grand Finalists will be revealed in November.

Judges for the Sussex Eating Experience of the Year, sponsored by ETI Ltd, Worthing-based makers of Thermapen, will be looking for a restaurant, hotel, pub or cafe which uses and promotes mainly Sussex produce and offers consistently high quality food in an enjoyable atmosphere.

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 with a butchery department that have managed to diversify and build a reputation in quality, range and zero carbon footprint; all nominations are welcomed in this year’s Sussex Butcher of the Year category, co-sponsored by Plumpton College with its butchery trailblazer apprenticeships and Brighton meat wholsesaler, RP Meats Wholesale Ltd.

Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Wealden District Council will be looking for a delicatessen or independent local shop or maybe a farm providing locally grown produce through gate sales, a farm shop or someone who delivers great local food direct to your door.

For Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Rix and Kay, judges are looking for high quality and mouth-watering products from the breweries, vineyards and other drink producers of the county, with a great business behind them and a bright future.

Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative, will be a strong business producing a single food ingredient (eg, meat, fish, vegetables, fruit) or a prepared food product (eg, pies, cakes) that is delicious and preferably using ingredients sourced from Sussex.

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Providing an exciting and varied range of local produce and offering an experience which shoppers, producers and stallholders really enjoy, is the criteria that Harveys Brewery will be looking for as sponsors of Sussex Farmers Market category.

Young chefs aged 25 or under on 31 December 2016, working or studying in Sussex, with a strong appreciation of all things local, can be nominated for the Sussex Young Chef of the Year category, sponsored by Sodexo Prestige.

The county is bursting with passionate chefs, preparing incredible dishes of every imaginable cuisine, using local, seasonal ingredients and serving them in style from converted vintage trucks and bespoke stalls.  These are the food heroes that Food Rocks and Natural PR will be looking for as sponsors of the Sussex Street Food of the Year category.

Sussex Newcomer of the Year, sponsored by Spofforths and the Sussex Food & Drink Network, will be looking for an innovative business from any part of the food and drink sector, supporting local produce, which has been trading for up to three years by the end of 2016; has the ambition and determination to succeed; and can demonstrate a realistic and sustainable business plan.

Sussex Farmer of the Year is always a special category and the winner will be a farmer who works to enhance the reputation of Sussex as a significant and creative agricultural county; someone who recognises and accepts the challenge of farming in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner.

All winners and runners up will go on to receive their awards in February 2017 at a BAFTA-style awards ceremony hosted by Sally Gunnell OBE and Danny Pike from BBC Sussex, including a spectacular seven-course Sussex produce banquet produced by Sodexo Prestige at the Amex Stadium.

For more information about all the categories and how to nominate visit

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