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30th January 2020

Finalists revealed - Taste of Kent Awards 2020

Press release: 21 January 2020 Public voting has closed and Produced in Kent can now reveal the finalists for the Taste of Kent Awards 2020. The elite top three in the categories voted for by the public will now enter the final stages of judges’ scrutiny, before they hope to be crowned winners at the black-tie awards dinner on Thursday 5 March 2020 at the Kent Events Centre. This year has seen a surge of interest in the self-nominating categories for Kent Farm Diversification, Excellence in Customer Service and Kent Countryside awards. It demonstrates the hive of activity that is going on around the county looking at innovative ways to make businesses sustainable and enhance the countryside, bring in new customers and launch new products. The top three of the self-nominated categories are: Excellence Award for Customer Service, sponsored by insight6 Austen’s of Rochester Curious Eatery, Boughton Monchelsea The Food Shed at Spadework, Offham Mark Perkins, Customer Experience Director at insight6 comments: ‘2020 is the first time that the Excellence in Customer Experience category has been introduced to the Awards, and were inundated with entries, demonstrating how local Kent businesses view the importance of delivering a fantastic experience to all of their customers. It was very difficult to narrow it down to 3 finalists, finding a winner will be equally challenging.’ Kent Countryside Award, sponsored by Kent Downs AONB and High Weald AONB Lower Ladysden Farm, Goudhurst Provenance Potatoes, Deal Watts Farm, Farningham The top three finalists in each of the categories that are voted for by the public (in no particular order) are: Kent Beer of the year, sponsored by Eurostar International Curious Brew - Curious Brewing, Ashford Pale Ale Mary - Northdown Brewery, Margate Gadd's No.3 - Ramsgate Brewery, Broadstairs Kent Butcher’s Shop of the Year, sponsored by Furley Page Crouch Butchers - Bearsted Hammonds Butchers - Matfield Shaun & Steve O’Meara’s Butchers - Minster-on-sea, Sheerness Kent Cider or Perry of the Year, sponsored by Wilkins Kennedy Curious Apple - Curious Brewing, Ashford Skylark Sparkling Apple Cider - Kentish Pip, Bekesbourne Night Bird Cider - Nightingale Cider Co, Tenterden Kent Coffee Shop or Tearoom of the Year, sponsored by Barretts of Canterbury Café Nucleus, Rochester The Little Bull Café & Bar, Brenchley Oad Street Food & Crafts, Borden Kent Dining Pub or Bistro of the Year, sponsored by University of Kent The Butcher’s Block, Burham The Curious Eatery, Boughton Monchelsea The Marquis of Granby, Alkham Kent Food Business of the Year, sponsored by Gullands Solicitors Karimix, Selling Little Brittany, Yalding Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Bennett Opie Austen's of Rochester – Rochester Flint & Oak - Westerham Hadlow College Farm Shop - Hadlow Kent Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Thomson Snell & Passmore Buoy & Oyster, Margate The Corner House, Canterbury The Small Holding, Kilndown Kent Tastiest Juice of the Year, sponsored by AC Goatham & Son Apple & Cherry Juice - Bardsley England Red Love Apple Juice - Biddenden Vineyards Apple & Elderflower – Owlets Kent Wine of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield Chapel Down Brut - Chapel Down, Tenterden Saxon Shore Bacchus - Terlingham Vineyard, Folkestone Sparkling Rose - Woodchurch Vineyard, Ashford The Taste of Kent Awards are organised by Produced in Kent and showcase the very best products and food and drink businesses across Kent and Medway. Floortje Hötte at Produced in Kent comments: “Once again during this year’s competition, we have had a truly amazing level of participation and support from both the public and food and drink businesses here in Kent. From across the county we have seen many new businesses and products voted for alongside many of the counties best known and most successful favourite business and food and drink products.” “Businesses in Medway have this year received an increase in the number of nominations by the public and there has also been an increase in the number of butchers shops, food and drink retailers, producers, beers and wines nominated in each of their respective categories. Over half of this year’s finalists have never been in the final top three before. Votes for Butchers shops were up 23% on previous years and votes for the best Dining Pub were also up by 20%.” The top three in each category now make it through to the final round of tasting, mystery shopping, mystery dining and expert judging panels and the winners will be announced at the Taste of Kent Awards Gala dinner, which takes place 5 March 2020 at the Kent Event Centre, Detling. In February the top three finalists in the Kent Food Product Classes will be publicised with the winners being revealed at the awards dinner. This category is self-nominated so not open to the public vote with products being judged by a panel of experts. The top three finalists for the Kent Farm Diversification Award will be announced soon! -Ends- For further information or pictures contact: Alison Baldwin, Coast Tel: 01233 503200 / 07949 561489 E: