Last chance to enter the Suffolk Food & Drink Awards 2021

Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2020 Chef of the Year Sam Sturman of The Brewers in Rattlesden

Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2020 Chef of the Year Sam Sturman of The Brewers in Rattlesden - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The closing date for entries into the Suffolk Food & Drink Awards 2021 is looming, with a cut off of July 11.

If you haven't already nominated your favourites, now's your chance to vote for all those farmers, producers, bakers, makers, pubs, cafes, restaurants and chefs.

Let's shine a light on an industry that has (like many others) suffered greatly in the last 16 months.

Votes are welcome from businesses and individuals, with judges and the general public deciding which of the final eight shortlisted for each category, makes it to the shortlist. This year's awards ceremony will be held at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall on September 27.

Go to suffolkfada.co.uk to get involved.

Award categories 2021

The Face of Food and Drink 2021, Sponsored by Bidfood


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This non- entry category recognises and individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the county’s food and drink sector. The winner could come from any part of the industry – a grower, producer, cook, restauranteur, retailer, educator or local food and drink champion. The judges will select someone who is an expert in their field, has a proven track record, inspires colleagues, educates and sets standards at which others aim to attain. This award winner is selected by judges using their industry knowledge. 

Best Product or Producer, Sponsored by Ashtons Legal

This award recognises the fantastic food and drink products being created within the county. Judges will be looking for a first-class product that demonstrates the manufacturer’s flair for creating, developing, and delivering a distinctive, successful and respected item, either as a stand-alone or as part of its brand. Manufacture of this will have been in Norfolk, although it is not essential that every ingredient is sourced from within the county’s borders.

Best Newcomer, Sponsored by Bruni Erben

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The award is open to any business or individual who has started a food and/or drink venture in the last three years. 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, as well as 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. 

Cafe, Coffee or Tea Shop of the Year, Sponsored by Castlemeadow Care

The judges will look for a café, coffee or teashop 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 which make the café or tea shop special. 

Food and Drink Innovation, Sponsored by Cory Brothers

This award is looking for a pioneer product, service, community, business or person within the food and drink industry. The winner of this award will use data, marketing and creative solutions effectively to deliver a food or drink product or service within Suffolk.

Chef of the Year, Sponsored by Fisher & Woods

This prestigious award is open to chefs who are currently working within the Suffolk food and drink industry. Competitors may come from all areas of the hospitality business, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors. This will recognise the close link of fine food with using the best of local produce.
Readers, businesses and chefs are able to nominate in this category. We will then contact all chefs to submit a formal entry with the hope of reaching a live cook-off. 

Pub of the Year, Sponsored by Freshpac

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 for 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.

Casual Restaurant of the Year

Nominees will be accepted for casual restaurants across Suffolk which have the ability to create a relaxed and inclusive dining experience. The menu will be varied, using local fresh produce and be served with an excellent level of customer service.   

Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year, Sponsored by MAD-HR Ltd

Nominees will be accepted for exceptional restaurants across Suffolk which have the ability to create an unforgettable dining experience, cooked to a degree of excellence using fresh, local produce combined with an unsurpassed level of customer service, demonstrating and understanding the diners’ expectations. Judges will be looking for a fine-dining restaurant that has impeccable levels of customer satisfaction and menus which inspire and take diners on a taste sensational journey. 

Outstanding Front of House

Judges in this category will be looking for the level of front of house provision that makes a truly enjoyable visit to the restaurant, hotel, café  or pub. Understanding and anticipating customers’ needs, good knowledge of menus, dishes, provenance of ingredients and drink matching will be expected as well as a personable approach that complements the establishment and really enhances the visit. This category seeks to recognise an often overlooked yet extremely important sector of the hospitality industry, and nominations should be for teams/organisations but can also name specific individuals within that. 

Best Retailer, Sponsored by East of England Co-op

This award recognises retailers who combine vision, a passion for high quality products and freshness of local produce. Marks will be awarded for clear, well laid-out shops which offer a wide variety of great products, and for staff who demonstrate memorable standards of customer care, product knowledge and service. Judges will be looking for innovation in products and presentation, as well as any added facilities the retailer has to offer.
This category is open to farm shops, markets and retailers. 

Young Chef of the Year, Sponsored by Bidfood

This category recognises the talents of a growing number of young people forging careers in the Suffolk hospitality industry, and seeks to encourage excellence and ambition. This prestigious award is open to young chefs who are currently working within the Suffolk food and drink industry. Competitors may come from all areas of the hospitality business, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors. This will recognise the close link of fine food with using the best of local produce. Readers, businesses and chefs are able to nominate in this category. The Food and Drink Awards team will then contact all chefs to submit a formal entry with the hope of reaching a live cook-off.

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