Grand Finalists announced for 2015

The Grand Finalists in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2014/15 have finally been revealed this week, following an eight-month intensive process, including several phases of expert judging and the verification of over 10,000 votes from members of the public.

These inspirational Sussex food and drink heroes can now look forward to an exciting night of celebrations at ‘the Sussex Foodie event of the year’, the spectacular Sussex Food and Drink Awards Banquet taking place on 29th January at the Amex Stadium, hosted by Sally Gunnell OBE and BBC’s Danny Pike.

Now in its ninth year, the awards are all about supporting and boosting local farmers, food and drink producers and the outlets that use and sell this superb local fare. Starting from small beginnings, the awards have grown to become prestigious and respected, with huge support from business in the county, bringing together the whole local food and farming community.

Leading dairy farmer and Nuffield scholar, William Goodwin, who is chairman of the judges, said: “Sussex has really earned its place as one of the leading counties in the UK for producing superb food and drink and this year’s Grand Finalists line up offers an impressive range of first class, diverse businesses from across the county and we are so proud of everyone who has made it through to this final stage in the competition.

“Just as it was in the Sussex Young Chef of the Year cook off last month, the judges’ decision was unanimous in each category and we are looking forward to welcoming all 24 Grand Finalists to the spectacular awards banquet in January, where our winners and runners up will be revealed.”

The three grand finalists in each of the eight awards categories, strictly in alphabetical order, are:

Sussex Farmer of the Year, sponsored by Spofforths Chartered Accountants

The Goring family, Wiston Estate, Washington, West Sussex

Tim Hassell, Goodwood Home Farm, Goodwood, West Sussex

Charlie Hughes, Southview Farm Dairy, Bury, nr Pulborough, West Sussex

Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by The Southern Cooperative

Caroline’s Dairy, Sidlesham, West Sussex

Cocoa Loco, West Grinstead, West Sussex

Nell Ball Farm Foods Ltd, Plaistow, West Sussex

Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harveys Brewery

Horsham Local Produce Market, West Sussex

Lewes Farmers Market, East Sussex

Steyning Farmers Market, West Sussex

Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Sussex Food & Drink Network

Highdown Vineyard, Ferring, West Sussex

Langham Brewery, Lodsworth, Petworth, West Sussex

Wobblegate, Bolney, West Sussex

Best Sussex Food Shop, sponsored by Veasey & Sons and Cheese Please

Charlie’s Farm Shop, Bury, nr Pulborough, West Sussex

Rushfields Farm Shop, Poynings, West Sussex

Tablehurst Farm Shop, Forest Row, East Sussex

Sussex Butcher of the Year, sponsored by Absolute Butchery

Bramptons Butchers, Kemptown, Brighton & Hove

A C Coughtrey, Pulborough, West Sussex

Leppards Family Butchers, Mayfield, East Sussex

Best Sussex Eating Experience, sponsored by Natural PR

Coach & Horses, Danehill, East Sussex

The Curlew, Bodiam, East Sussex

Zari’s Restaurant & Lounge, Crawley, West Sussex

Previously announced, Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Sodexo Prestige

Dan Cotton, The Crabtree, Lower Beeding, West Sussex

Tim Sheed, The Pass, South Lodge Hotel, Lower Beeding, West Sussex

Ryan Tomkinson, East Sussex National, Little Horsted, East Sussex

The Grand Finalists will join over 300 leaders in the food, drink and farming industry for a superb seven-course Sussex feast created by Sodexo Prestige at the Sussex Food and Drink Awards banquet and tickets are now on sale here