Sussex Food and Drink Awards judges have tested and tasted their way through the very best eateries, producers, farmers, markets and food shops and have reviewed the votes of thousands of food and drink lovers in the county and following great debate, are ready to announce their verdict.

Said Clive Beddall OBE, Chair of the Judges, who oversaw the judges’ debate hosted at Knill James’s offices in Lewes, “Sussex produce is just getting better and better and is getting more famous every year in other parts of the country – we have a great deal to be proud of in this county!
“Once again, the quality and diversity of our finalists is superb and we have some exciting newcomers alongside old favourites. We are now looking forward to announcing our winners  at the Sussex foodie event of the year, the awards banquet, at the Amex on January 31, hosted by Sally Gunnell OBE and the BBC’s Danny Pike.”
The three grand finalists in each of the eight awards categories, strictly in alphabetical order, are:
Best Sussex Eating Experience, sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter Solicitors
The Cat, West Hoathly, West Sussex
The Ram Inn, Firle, East Sussex
Wabi, Horsham, West Sussex
Sussex Farmer of the Year, sponsored by Knill James
Harry Goring, the Wiston Estate, Steyning, West Sussex
Martin and Gundrada Hole, Montague Farm, Pevensey, East Sussex
Phil and Steve Hook, Longleys Farm, Hailsham, East Sussex
Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative
Caroline’s Dairy, Sidlesham, West Sussex
High Weald Dairy, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex
Just Brownies, Partridge Green, West Sussex
Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harveys
Chichester, West Sussex
Lewes, East Sussex
Steyning, West Sussex
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Natural PR Ltd
Dark Star Brewing Co, Partridge Green, West Sussex
Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling, East Sussex
Wobblegate, Bolney, West Sussex
Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop, sponsored by the Sussex Food & Drink Network
The Hungry Guest, Petworth, West Sussex
The Sussex Produce Company, Steyning, West Sussex
Veasey and Sons Fishmonger, Forest Row, East Sussex
Sussex Butcher of the Year, sponsored by Natural Farms
Archers, Westfield, East Sussex
Bramptons Butchers, Brighton, East Sussex
John Murray Butchers, Loxwood, West Sussex
Previously announced, Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Gram UK Ltd and Cheese Please
Charlie Tayler, South Lodge, Horsham, West Sussex
Jimmy Gray, Jeremy’s Restaurant, Borde Hill, West Sussex
Ryan Hunter, Wingrove House, Alfriston, East Sussex
Said Paula Seager, MD of Natural PR, who organises the awards: “We made changes to the voting system for the Sussex Food & Drink Awards this year, including introducing text voting, and are delighted with the outcome, with each finalist receiving around three times more votes than in previous years.  The calibre of our grand finalists speaks volumes about the quality of the food and drink industry across the whole of the county.”
Tickets for the Sussex Food & Drink Awards banquet, a sumptuous seven-course Sussex feast and lively awards ceremony, on January 31 at the Amex Stadium, are now on sale at www.sussexfoodawards.biz