SUSSEX FOOD AND DRINK HEROES CELEBRATE SUCCESS

Sussex Food and Drink Award winners 2017 , held at the AMEX stadium Brighton

Celebrations were in full flow on Wednesday 1 February as the Sussex Food & Drink Awards revealed the county’s top food and drink producers for 2017, all hailed as local heroes as they received their winning trophies at the Amex Community Stadium in Brighton.

Hosted by awards patron, Sally Gunnell OBE DL and Danny Pike of BBC Sussex, the glittering 11th awards ceremony was a sell out with nearly 400 leaders in the food, drink and farming industry gathering for what is now dubbed ‘the Sussex foodie event of the year’, celebrating the cream of Sussex food and drink producers.

Over the last 11 years the awards have received over 3,300 nominations and 113,000 public votes promoting hundreds of businesses as Grand Finalists. The awards scheme is run by Natural Partnerships Community Interest Company (CIC), co-directed by Hilary Knight of the Sussex Food & Drink Network and Paula Seager, Managing Director of Natural PR Ltd, with support from a loyal and high ranking group of sponsor and expert judges along with independent chairman of judges, Sussex farmer and Nuffield scholar, William Goodwin.

Said Sally Gunnell, OBE DL, “This is my fifth year as patron for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards which are all about supporting and boosting local farmers, food and drink producers and the outlets which use and sell superb local fare. Starting from small beginnings, the awards have grown to become prestigious and respected, attracting a record 13,000 votes from members of the public this year and huge support from business in the county, bringing together the whole local food and farming community. It’s an outstanding achievement.”

Guests were treated to a wonderful ‘Sussex bubbly and ale reception’, sponsored by Pulborough NFU Mutual, with Harveys Ale, Carr Taylor sparkling wine, Wobblegate apple juice, Brighton Gin and South Downs Water, accompanied by delicious canapés from Jah Jyot and The Artisan Bakehouse. This was followed by a stunning seven-course banquet created by stadium caterers Sodexo Prestige, using the very best local and seasonal ingredients supplied by Lighthouse Bakery, Bookham & Harrison, Southview Farm Dairy, Hoads Farm, Veasey & Sons Fishmongers, Plumpton College, R P Meats (Wholesale), T G Fruits, Wobblegate, Paynes Bee Farm, The Cheese Man, Noble and Stace chocolatiers, Bluebird Tea Co and Edgcumbes Coffee Roasters.

Said Paula Seager, “We are so incredibly proud of the Sussex Food & Drink Awards and want to wish our 2017 winners, grand finalists and finalists our warmest congratulations. The line up was hugely impressive this year, this evening is all about celebrating our Sussex food and drink heroes and we know the future is bright for all of them. Several new sponsors and supporters have come on board this year alongside our loyal, longstanding partners and we want to thank them all for sharing a vital role in making these awards such a great success.”

Guests also had the opportunity to enter a fantastic prize draw with the chance of winning a superb Sussex VIP Foodie Tour, kindly donated by several of the Grand Finalists and partners at the awards ceremony. The winning package includes complimentary meals at The Set, The Earl of March and The Fountain restaurants; a wine tasting tour of Ridgeview Wine Estate; a Magnum of Nyetimber; a flight on British Airways i360 for two people, with a glass of sparkling wine at the Nyetimber Sky Bar on board; a year’s supply of pies from The Real Pie Company; a mixology workshop at Bluebird Tea Co; a Tablehurst Farm hamper; and a whole venison butchered to your request from Glyn Thomas and Sons butchers.

For further information on the awards and winners in all ten categories including Sussex butcher, food producer, drink producer, farmer, young chef, farmers market, food shop, eating experience, newcomer and street food vendor of the year visit www.sussexfoodawards.biz

Winners and Runners up for 2017 are:

Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative

Winner: The Real Pie Company, Crawley, West Sussex

Runners up: Noble and Stace Chocolatiers, Midhurst, West Sussex and Ouse Valley Foods, Piltdown, East Sussex

 Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Rix & Kay Solicitors

Winner: Nyetimber, West Chiltington, West Sussex

Runners up: Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling Common, East Sussex and Wobblegate, Bolney, West Sussex

Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Sodexo Prestige

Winner: Michael Sutherland, The Star Inn, Alfriston, East Sussex

Runners up: Rachel Burroughs, Camelia Restaurant, South Lodge Hotel, Lower Beeding, West Sussex and Anna Shopland, The Fountain Inn, Plumpton Green, East Sussex

Sussex Farmer of the Year, sponsored by Natural PR in association with Farmers Weekly

Winner: Andrew and Joanne Knowles, Trenchmore Farm, Cowfold, West Sussex

Runners up: Jeremy Davis and Lynne Curtis, Lynne’s Organic Farm, Eridge, East Sussex and Camilla and Roly Puzey, Saddlescombe Farm, Poynings, West Sussex

Sussex Butcher of the Year, co-sponsored by Plumpton College & RP Meats Wholesaler Ltd

Winner: A C Coughtrey Butchers, Pulborough, West Sussex

Runners up: Glyn Thomas & Son Ltd, Lindfield, West Sussex and Nick the Butcher, Hartfield, East Sussex

Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harveys of Lewes

Winner: Shoreham Farmers Market, West Sussex

Runners up: Forest Row Village Market, East Sussex and Lewes Food Market, Market Tower (weekly) East Sussex

Sussex Eating Experience of the Year, sponsored by SuperFast Thermapen®

Winner: The Earl of March, Lavant, West Sussex

Runners up: The Crown, Hastings, East Sussex and The Sussex Ox, Polegate, East Sussex

Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Wealden District Council

Winner: Cowdray Farm Shop, Midhurst, West Sussex

Runners up: Eggs to Apples, Hurst Green, East Sussex and Tablehurst Farm Limited, Forest Row, East Sussex

Sussex Street Food Vendor of the Year, co-sponsored by Food Rocks and Horsham District Food and Drink Festival

Winner: Jah Jyot, Southwater, West Sussex

Runners up: Garlic Wood Farm, Steyning, West Sussex and Pig and Jacket, Lewes, East Sussex

Sussex Newcomer of the Year, co-sponsored by Kreston Reeves incorporating Spofforths and Sussex Food and Drink Network

Winner: The Bluebird Tea Co Shop, Brighton

Runners up: The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst, West Sussex and The Set Restaurant, Brighton

 

2017 WINNERS NOTES TO EDITORS

Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative

The best Sussex Food Producer, which stands out for its delicious, quality products and has a strong business with vision.

The Real Pie Company

Set up by a family of artisan butchers 13 years ago, The Real Pie Company is passionate about pies. Every pie is hand crafted and ‘crammed to the crust’ with mouthwateringly tender chunks of meat encased in a hand finished puff pastry top and a short crust base. Brett Hornby and Christine Cossins create ‘Real Pies for Real Pie lovers’. Based in Crawley, West Sussex, The Real Pie Company is a very impressive business; producing thousands of pies and selling them through stockists across the UK, online and on TV.

www.therealpieco.co.uk

Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Rix & Kay Solicitors

The three grand finalists this year bring together all that is great about Sussex representing the brewers and vineyards across the county.

Nyetimber

Ever since the very first vines were planted Nyetimber has had a single aim: to make the finest English

sparkling wine there is. With geography, climate, passion and determination on their side, they knew they could rival the best in the world, including Champagne. They have gone on to win gold awards across the globe and make no compromise in their passionate pursuit of the very best quality possible in West Sussex.

www.nyetimber.com

 Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Sodexo Prestige

A young chef aged between 16-25yrs and working or studying in Sussex. Judging is based on the preparation and presentation of a locally sourced menu showing creativity, flair and future potential to succeed at the highest level.

Michael Sutherland

From The Star Inn in Alfriston, East Sussex, Michael was a runner up in the 2016 Sussex Young Chef of the Year competition. He impressed the judging panel again this year with another imaginative menu of mackerel served two ways with textures of cucumber, horseradish, samphire and nasturtium oil, followed by loin of venison with confit potato for his main course, and for dessert he served delicately poached peaches with a honey and cardamon panna cotta and granola topped with a raspberry sorbet.

www.thestaralfriston.co.uk

 Sussex Farmer of the Year, sponsored by Natural PR in association with Farmers Weekly

A Sussex farmer who finds innovative ways to bring produce to market, while contributing to the economic and sustainable management of the countryside.

Andrew and Joanne Knowles, Trenchmore Farm

Trenchmore farms for flavour. Their Sussex x Wagyu cattle are mostly grass fed, also enjoying a few protein rich brewer’s grains from the local breweries and a treat of apple pomace from their cider pressing. Andrew and Joanne use a combination of traditional methods and latest research to produce consistent, marbled, succulent, slow grown, 28 day dry aged beef. In the orchard they have about 1600 traditional cider apple trees from which they make Silly Moo Cowfold cider and they grow their own sprouted barley grass hydroponically on the farm in Cowfold, West Sussex. An exciting and innovative farm business.

www.trenchmore.co.uk

 Sussex Butcher of the Year, co-sponsored by Plumpton College & RP Meats Wholesaler Ltd A top quality butchers shop, which offers a good range of locally reared meat and gives that little bit extra in terms of quality and service.

A C Coughtrey

A C Coughtrey butchers started out in the village of Pulborough in West Sussex, over 25 years ago and took the decision to move to a larger shop to enable them to stock a wider range of locally produced meats. Seasonal game is always available and a plentiful selection of sausages and barbecue meats awaits, as well as delicious sauces and chutneys. A top quality local butcher.

www.coughtreys.co.uk

 Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harveys Brewery

A farmers market that sells an exciting range of local produce and offers an experience which shoppers, producers and stallholders really enjoy.

Shoreham Farmers’ Market

With over 60 stalls, Shoreham Farmers’ Market is the place to visit to buy the full range of local produce. The market sells local Sussex produce and takes place in East Street, Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex between 9am and 1pm every second Saturday of the month. This lively market brings together the whole local community.

www.facebook.com/shorehamfarmersmarket

Sussex Eating Experience, sponsored by Natural PR and Sussex Food & Drink Network

A restaurant, pub or café that offers an exceptionally enjoyable eating experience whilst promoting and using local ingredients.

The Earl of March

The Earl of March is a country pub restaurant set against the picturesque backdrop of Goodwood and the South Downs in the village of Lavant near Chichester, West Sussex. The team have passion in developing innovative seasonal menus, offering exciting, flavoursome food that packs a punch at any time of the year. Its exceptional ‘countryplush’ ambience, supberb cuisine and wide range of wines and ales makes it the ideal place for any occasion.

www.theearlofmarch.com

 Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Wealden District Council

An excellent food outlet that is creative in its approach to customers, offers a good range of local produce and has business principles that support local produce.

Cowdray Farm Shop

Cowdray Farm Shop sits at the very heart of the Cowdray Estate in Midhurst, West Sussex. They sell award winning, locally sourced meats and the majority of their beef and all lamb is reared on Cowdray land. Also on offer are delicious cakes and pies, made on site by their team of talented chefs.

www.cowdray.co.uk/cowdray-farm-shop

Sussex Street Food of the Year, co-sponsored by Food Rocks and Horsham District Food and Drink Festival

An excellent food outlet that is creative in its approach to customers, offers a good range of local produce and has business principles that support local produce.

Jah Jyot

2016 Sussex Street Food Grand Finalist and exciting Punjabi Street food experience, based in Southwater, West Sussex, Jah Jyot cook delicious and authentic Punjabi North Indian food using locally sourced staple ingredients. Jah Jyot set up early in 2015 and are making their mark on delighted foodies all over the county and beyond. They are regular stallholders at Horsham Markets, which take place every Thursday and Saturday.

www.facebook.com/JAHJYOTSussex

Sussex Newcomer of the Year, co-sponsored by Kreston Reeves incorporating Spofforths and Sussex Food and Drink Network

An excellent food outlet that is creative in its approach to customers, offers a good range of local produce and has business principles that support local produce.

The Bluebird Tea Co Shop

Bluebird Tea Co. is an independent, award winning, unique Tea Mixology Company on a mission to make people happy with tea! Bluebird’s flagship Tea Mixology store opened in Brighton’s iconic North Laine in Spring 2014. It is a space where people come to experience all of Bluebird’s fantastic tea blends at their huge, colourful tea wall and sip on yummy iced teas whilst exploring Brighton. A unique and exciting food and drink business.

www.bluebirdteaco.com