Finalists for the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2010/11 have been announced and 24 of Sussex’s fantastic food and drink heroes have made it through on public voting and expert judging to make an enticing final line up.

Said Clive Beddall OBE, Chairman of the Judges: “The awards are celebrating their fifth anniversary this year and they continue to grow in popularity with thousands of members of the public voting for hundreds of their favourite Sussex farmers, food and drink producers, young chefs, food/farm shops, butchers, eateries and farmers markets.

“We have seen a record number of different businesses and individuals receiving votes this year –familiar, quality names have appeared again and we are excited to see many new names emerge, proving that these awards are reaching every corner of the county and that Sussex continues to produce some of the UK’s best food and drink heroes.”

All 24 finalists will have to wait a few more weeks to discover who the winners are which will be announced at the Sussex Food & Drink Awards banquet, to be held at the East Sussex Golf Resort & Spa on 27th January 2011.

This black tie event promises to be the best yet, celebrating the awards’ fifth birthday! A Sussex bubbly and ale reception (sponsored by Harveys) will get the party started and then, using the very best local produce, AA rosette chef Andy Wiles has created a fantastic banquet with seven courses including game, fish, fruits, cheeses and other Sussex goodies.

Said, Paula Seager, MD of Natural PR which organise the awards: “The awards ceremony is always such a fantastic evening and this year’s banquet is going to be a true celebration of the amazing food and drink that Sussex has to offer. A sense of anticipation builds throughout the evening until winners are announced and trophies presented BAFTA-style with host Danny Pike from BBC Sussex. There is nothing contrived or stuffy about these awards, just a lively and fun celebration of our Sussex food heroes.”

To buy tickets for this fabulous event, email: sandra@naturalpr.biz or call Natural PR on 01273 857242.

The finalists are:
Best Sussex Farmer’s Market
Lewes
Shoreham
Uckfield

Sussex Farmer of the Year sponsored by Knill James
Tim Hassell, Home Farm, Goodwood
Jenny & Trevor Passmore, Church Farm, Coombes
Shon and Simon Sprackling, Rother Valley Organics, Petersfield

Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter
Cheese Please, Lewes
Plaw Hatch Farm Shop, Sharpthorne
Sussex Produce Company, Steyning

Sussex Food Producer of the Year sponsored by Musgrave Retail Partnership
Caroline’s Dairy, Sidlesham
Nut Knowle Farm, Horam, nr Heathfield
Plaw Hatch Farm, Sharpthorne

Sussex Drink Producer of the Year sponsored by Natural PR
Dark Star Brewery, Horsham
Hepworths Brewery, Horsham
World Coffee, Lindfield

Best Sussex Eating Experience sponsored by a Taste of Sussex
The Curlew, Bodiam
Restaurant Tristan, Horsham
Simply Delicious, Bognor Regis

Sussex Young Chef of the Year sponsored by Blue Spark Organisation
Simon Duncan, Sam’s of Brighton
Steven Edwards, South Lodge, Horsham
Hanna Payne, the Pass at South Lodge, Horsham

Sussex Butcher of the Year sponsored by Leonards
S K Hutchings, Partridge Green
New Street Butchers, Horsham
Tablehurst Farm Shop, Forest Row