Celebrations were in full flow last night [Thursday 31 January] at this year’s sell-out spectacular Sussex Food and Drink Awards ceremony, where eight of Sussex’s top food and drink producers were hailed as local heroes and received their trophies at the American Express Community Stadium. 


Over 350 leaders in the food, drink and farming industries gathered for what is now dubbed ‘the Sussex foodie event of the year’, with all tickets sold out.  Guests were treated to a wonderful ‘Sussex bubbly and ale reception’, sponsored by Harveys and Carr Taylor, followed by a stunning seven-course banquet created by new stadium caterers the Lindley Group.  The menu featured an array of Sussex goodies including:  Sussex beef and dairy, locally caught fish, locally grown fruit and vegetables and a selection of local cheeses, Sussex ground coffee and locally-made chocolates.

Said Clive Beddall OBE, Chairman of the Judges: “All our grand finalists offer superb quality and innovation and reflect the rich diversity of the food and drink industry in this part of the world – and there are few areas of a modern food store or indeed a catering sector menu that cannot be supplied from Sussex.”

Winners were announced in a BAFTA-style presentation, hosted by the awards patron Sally Gunnell OBE and Danny Pike of BBC Sussex. 
Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2012/13 Winners:
Best Sussex Farmer’s Market – sponsored by Harveys
Winner – Lewes
Runners up – Chichester & Steyning

Sussex Farmer of the Year sponsored by Knill James
Winner – Martin and Gundrada Hole, Montague Farm, Pevensey
Runners up –  Harry and Pip Goring, the Wiston Estate and Phil and Steve Hook, Longleys Farm, Hailsham

Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop sponsored by the Sussex Food & Drink Network
Winner – Veasey and Sons, Forest Row
Runners up – The Hungry Guest, Petworth and The Sussex Produce Company, Steyning

Sussex Food Producer of the Year sponsored by The Southern Co-operative
Winner – High Weald Dairy, Horsted Keynes
Runners up – Caroline’s Dairy, Sidlesham, Nr Chichester and Just Brownies, Partridge Green

Sussex Drink Producer of the Year sponsored by Natural PR
Winner – Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling Common
Runners up –The Dark Star Brewing Co, Partridge Green and Wobblegate pure apple juice, Bolney
Best Sussex Eating Experience sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter
Winner – The Cat Inn, West Hoathly
Runners up –  The Ram Inn, Firle and Wabi, Horsham

Sussex Young Chef of the Year sponsored by Gram UK Ltd and Cheese Please
Winner – Jimmy Gray, Jeremy’s Restaurant, Borde Hill Gardens, Nr Haywards Heath
Runners up – Charlie Tayler, the Pass Restaurant, South Lodge Hotel, Lower Beeding and Ryan Hunter, Wingrove House, Alfriston

Sussex Butcher of the Year sponsored by Natural Farms
Winner – John Murray Butchers, Loxwood
Runners up – Archers of Westfield and BrightonBramptons Butchers, Brighton