Voting is open for the Eat Suffolk Food & Drink Awards

Eat awards branding logo

Eat awards branding logo - Credit: Archant

If you enjoy the abundance of high quality food and drink that Suffolk produces, cooks and serves, then you’ll want to be part of the county’s exciting food and drink awards. It’s time to get nominating your favourites!

Suffolk Food and Drinks Awards 2017
Best International Restaurant 2017
Ugur Vatafrom The Galley

Suffolk Food and Drinks Awards 2017 Best International Restaurant 2017 Ugur Vatafrom The Galley at Woodbridge, with sponsor Terry Baxter from Inspire Suffolk - Credit: Suzanne Abbott

The search is on to find the best chefs, restaurants, producers and purveyors in the county for the 2018 Eat Suffolk Food & Drink Awards.

The awards are hosted by Suffolk Magazine and the East Anglian Daily Times, and we’re delighted, once again, to have the continued support of our headline sponsor East of England Co-op, who are also sponsoring the Suffolk Food Hero award.

They are a fellow champion of local food and drink, and their list of suppliers includes many Suffolk producers whose products are to be found in East of England Co-op stores, especially the Sourced Locally range.

The EAT Suffolk Food & Drink Awards are a celebration of our flavoursome county. With its proud heritage of farming, coastal fishing and brewing, few places can boast the rich variety of produce found in Suffolk. The county’s producers and purveyors grow, rear, catch and cook some of the best food and drink to be found in Britain.

Suffolk Food and Drinks Awards 2017 Best Newcomer 2017: Will and Joe Wooster from Wooster's, Bardwe

Suffolk Food and Drinks Awards 2017 Best Newcomer 2017: Will and Joe Wooster from Wooster's, Bardwell with sponsor Sarah Peck from The KBB Centre. - Credit: Suzanne Abbott

From independent butchers, bakers and farm shops, to neighbourhood pubs, vibrant cafes and fine dining restaurants, the EAT Suffolk Food & Drink Awards recognise and reward them all. So, if you know of a business – a favourite restaurant, cafe, producer or retailer – or a chef or producer who goes the extra mile, is a shining example of the county’s food and drink industry or is an unsung hero, then we want to hear from you. Or perhaps you’re part of the industry and you’re ready for some well-earned recognition. You can nominate in 10 of the categories on the EAT Suffolk Food & Drink Awards website. The closing date for nominations is March 4. Finalists will be announced on April 18, and all the winners will be revealed at a special EAT Suffolk Food & Drink celebratory dinner at Wherstead Park, Ipswich, on April 30

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Suffolk Food & Drink Hero

Sponsor East of England Co-op

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This award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Suffolk’s food industry. The winner could come from any part of the industry – a grower, producer, cook, restaurateur, retailer, educator or local food and drink champion. The judges will be looking for someone who is an expert in their chosen field, has a proven track record, inspires colleagues, educates and sets standards for others aim to attain. (No public nominations).

Pub of the Year

Sponsor G+G Gallo

Nominees are accepted for fantastic pubs across Suffolk which have created a distinct and high quality offering for their customers – both traditional drinking pubs and those that have built a reputation their restaurant and/or bar menu. Common to all finalists will be great standards of customer service and understanding of their market, technical expertise in sourcing and providing a good range and standard of drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – plus a sense of character that makes a visit to these pubs enjoyable and memorable.

Pride of Suffolk Sponsor Montage Communications

This award recognises a product or brand that the county is proud to call its own by demonstrating the excellence of food and drink production within Suffolk or even further afield. Judges will consider those which are respected brand leaders beyond the county borders, whether in terms of produce, product or full brand range, and which instill a real sense of pride in the county. The Pride of Suffolk award is open to all food and drink producers and suppliers such as farmers, brewers butchers, bakers, fishmongers and delicatessens demonstrating a real passion for the county and the food and drink made here.

Chef of the Year

Sponsor Jam Tartz

This prestigious award is open to chefs who are working within Suffolk, who demonstrate excellence in their profession and a commitment to supporting the county’s food and drink producers through their menus. Competitors should come from all areas of the hospitality business, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors. The search for the county’s best chef invites them to submit a menu for a special occasion dinner for four guests, from which a selection of chefs will be invited to cook their menus for the judges.

Best independent Food & Drink Retailer

Sponsor (and Reception Sponsor) Larking Gowen

This award recognises retailers such as butchers, bakers, delicatessens, farmer’s markets and more with a passion for high-quality products and fresh local produce, as well as outstanding customer service. The judges will be impressed by an attractive, well laid out shop, stocked with a wide variety of excellent products, staff who provide friendly, helpful customer service, and have good product knowledge, innovation in products and presentation and any additional facilities and services that the retailer provides.

Field to Fork

Sponsor Ashtons Legal

Judges are looking for individuals or businesses with the ability and vision to produce and market quality food products in this region. These are growers and producers who are passionate about what they do and who have the talent and skill to grow, develop and market an outstanding and commercially scalable food product. They also need to show environmental credentials and demonstrate contribution to the local community.

Best Newcomer

Sponsor KBB Centre

The award is open to any business or individual who has started a food and/or drink venture in the last three years (since January 2015). The judges will be looking for an outstanding early stage business which has already become a success story or shows promise to become one. The winner will be a company which is able to demonstrate a pioneering approach, strong performance over the past year, the potential to flourish and be sustainable. Among the qualities the judges will be looking for are a dedicated effort to drive the business forward, potential and vision.

Outstanding Customer Service

Sponsor The Burgess Group

Judges in this category will be looking for the level of service that makes a truly enjoyable visit to the restaurant, hotel, café or pub. They will be impressed by the ability to understand and anticipate customers’ needs, good knowledge of menus, dishes, provenance of ingredients and of drink matching, as well as a personable approach that complements the establishment and really enhances the visit. This category recognises an often overlooked yet extremely important sector of the hospitality industry, and nominations will be accepted for teams or individuals.

Best Restaurant

Sponsor Suffolk Magazine

The judges will look for the restaurant or eaterie in Suffolk which has the ability to create an outstanding dining experience, cook to a degree of excellence using fresh, local produce and provide an excellent level of customer service, demonstrating and understanding the diner’s expectations. Judges will be impressed by technical expertise, customer service, relaxed, comfortable ambience and an imaginative menu. Judging will involve an unannounced visit to the shortlisted businesses.

Family Dining Award

Sponsor East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star

Judges of this category will be looking for a restaurant, café or pub which really meets the needs of family dining, by demonstrating attention to the requirements across the generations of diners both in terms of its food offering, atmosphere, entertainment, sense of theatre, and the variety of menu for guests. The award reflects the whole experience, so is aimed at establishments that place a great emphasis on standards of service, both front of house and in the food preparation, as well as having that ‘certain something’ which makes it appeal to the whole family.

Best Coffee/Tea Shop

Sponsor Suffolk Magazine

The judges will look for the coffee or tea shop in Suffolk which is able to create an outstanding customer experience – a warm welcome, high quality tea and/or coffee plus a range of other drinks, tasty food made from fresh, local produce, all served with an excellent level of customer service. Judges will be impressed by a relaxed, comfortable ambience, originality, an imaginative menu and aspects make the cafe or tea shop ‘special’. Judging will involve an unannounced visit to the shortlisted businesses.

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