Eight businesses from Brighton and Hove have been shortlisted for the finals of the 2013-14 Sussex Food and Drink Awards.
They are among 68 finalists from across the county to be announced by the organisers as public voting opened for the awards’ eighth year.
And they were all invited to a networking event at the South of England Showground in Ardingly last week hosted by the patron of the awards Sally Gunnell.
The former Olympic champion said: “I want to congratulate all the finalists in this year’s awards.
“This event is a great opportunity for finalists to discover how to make the most of this competition which is all about boosting the local food market.
“Aside from receiving their trophies, grand finalists get free tickets to the Sussex foodie event of the year, the Sussex Food and Drink Awards Banquet, which is a superb seven-course banquet created entirely from local produce, to be held on (Thursday) 30 January 2014.
“But most importantly, the winners get huge respect and publicity.”
The public can vote by text and online at www.sussexfoodawards.biz for the county’s top farmers, butchers, chefs, market organisers, shopkeepers, brewers and vintners.
The finalists from Brighton and Hove are
- Stanmer House in Stanmer Park for the Best Sussex Eating Experience
- The Foragers in Hove competing for the Best Sussex Eating Experience
- Brighton Farmers Market for the Best Sussex Farmers Market
- Westdene Butchers in Patcham for Sussex Butcher of the Year
- Bramptons in Kemp Town for Sussex Butcher of the Year.
- Infinity Foods for Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop
- Gran Stead’s Ginger in Portslade for Sussex Drink Producer of the Year
- The Raw Chocolate Company is competing for Sussex Food Producer of the Year
Paula Seager, co-director of Natural Partnerships, the community interest company that runs the awards, said: “It’s going to be another really exciting year for the awards with some truly excellent candidates including lots of new names, as well as some familiar ones, who have made it on to the shortlist.
“We are so lucky that Sussex is blessed with a wealth of glorious food and drink from the beautiful South Downs and its coastal waters to the huge number of creative and hard-working producers and manufacturers in the county who are creating award-winning food and drink every day.”
The Sussex Young Chef of the Year category remains open until the end of July when the top six will be announced and go forward for a competitive cook-off in October.
To see who else made it on to the shortlist and to vote, visit www.sussexfoodanddrinkawards.biz.