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13th May 2022

Kent Crowns its Food & Drink Heroes for 2022: The Taste of Kent Award winners announced

In a glitzy ceremony at the Kent Event Centre last night – the first since 2020, the winners of Kent’s food and drink Oscars equivalent, The Taste of Kent Awards, were announced in a joyous in-person gathering of the finalists.

Produced in Kent’s annual flagship award event sees the coming together of the finest producers, farmers, retailers, and hospitality businesses for a celebration of the best in the Garden of England. Following the first round of public voting to determine the finalists, it was down to industry specialists to judge the best tasting creations from across the county.

Attendees enjoyed a fabulous 3 course meal created by The Curious Eatery, as well as cocktails & treats from finalists Wild Box, The Cheesemakers of Canterbury, Kingcott Dairy and Solley’s Ice Cream.

Last night, on Thursday 12th of May, 400 guests gathered to watch the crowning of Kent’s food and drink champions: featuring honey, cheese, ale, cider, and pies among the winning products. While the winning retailers, pubs and restaurants traversed the entire map of Kent.

The winners

  • The Small Holding in Kilndown scooped the prestigious Restaurant of the Year award with the judges describing it as an unforgettable rural delight.
  • The Kent Sustainable Food & Drink Award went to restaurant and rural event venue, Frasers. The judges praised their sustainability efforts in working with a network of partners to champion the business as an ‘environmental and educational resource’.
  • Provenance Potatoes took home the Kent Food and Drink Business Award after being recognised for linking local farms and using innovative solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.

After enormous support for Kent food and drink during the recent pandemic, Floortje Hoette, Chief Executive of Produced in Kent, is delighted to see that the public’s support for local remains high and applauded the outstanding standard of this year’s finalists.

“The judges and I were blown away by the exceptional quality of food and drink we have here in Kent, and it’s wonderful to see the support for buying local hasn’t faded post-pandemic” explains Floortje.

The importance of food & drink in the county
Known as the Garden of England, Kent still plays a pivotal role in the food & drink economy, with the national food and drink industry contributing £30bn[1] to the economy annually. Having survived a turbulent couple of years, the Taste of Kent finalists have had to adapt, pivot, and diversify to thrive and are now adjusting to the new economic challenges ahead.

Recognised as a public endorsement of the best food and drink in Kent, the Taste of Kent Awards aim to drive new interest and growth for the producers, retailers, farmers, pubs and restaurants in Kent.

Speaking about the winners and finalists this year, Floortje Hoette says “they have shown innovation, diversification, sustainable practices, and immense talent within their specialist fields, it makes me enormously proud to spotlight these Kent businesses. I’d like to add a special thank you to the headline sponsors of this year’s event, Southeastern and The University of Greenwich, without which the finalists would not have had their moment in the limelight and the awards would not have been possible.”

Supporting Food Friends
This year, Produced in Kent are supporting Food Friends as their nominated charity. Food Friends work to combat social isolation and loneliness in communities through food and friendship. During the awards evening, a raffle was held with tickets to The Wine Garden of England Summer Festival, and The Wine Weekend as the prize. All proceeds will be donated to Food Friends.

The Taste of Kent Awards 2022 winners are:

Kent Ambient Product of the Year
Winner: Bray's Bees
Product: Honey
Location: Ditton, Aylesford
Sponsored by: Crowe UK

Kent Bakery or Confectionery Product of the Year
Winner: Macie Cakes
Product: Salted Caramel Millionaires Shortbread
Location: Herne Bay
Sponsored by: A C Goatham & Sons

Kent Beer of the Year
Winner: Cellar Head Brewing Company
Product: Session Pale Ale
Location: Tunbridge Wells
Sponsored by: NFU Mutual Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield

Kent Cider of the Year
Winner: Turners Cider
Product: Apple Pie Cider
Location: Marden
Sponsored by: A C Goatham & Sons

Kent Dairy Product of the Year
Winner: Kingcott Dairy
Product: Kentish Blue
Location: Staplehurst
Sponsored by: BTF Partnership

Kent Non-Alcoholic Drink of the Year
Winner: Biddenden Vineyards
Product: Sparkling Apple Juice
Location: Biddenden
Sponsored by: Barretts

Kent Prepared Food Product of the Year
Winner: Yes Chef
Product: Steak & Blue Cheese Pie
Location: Aylesford
Sponsored by: Macknade

Kent Spirit of the Year
Winner: Copper Rivet Distillery
Product: Damson Gin
Location: Chatham
Sponsored by: Gullands Solicitors

Kent Wine of the Year
Winner: Balfour Winery
Product: Balfour Brut Rosé
Location: Staplehurst
Sponsored by: Furley Page and NFU Mutual Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield

Kent Cafe of the Year
Winner: Aunt Sally's Kitchen
Location: Maidstone
Sponsored by: Thomson Snell & Passmore

Kent Dining Pub of the Year
Winner: The Butcher’s Block
Location: Burham
Sponsored by: Thomson Snell & Passmore

Kent Restaurant of the Year
Winner: The Small Holding
Location: Kilndown

Highly Commended: The Bao Baron, Folkestone
Sponsored by: Thomson Snell & Passmore

Kent Food Retailer of the Year
Winner: Detling Community Store
Location: Detling
Sponsored by: Barretts

Kent Community Award
Winner: Communigrow
Location: East Malling
Sponsored by: Crowe UK

Kent Diversification Award
Winner: Reuthe's
Location: Sevenoaks

Highly Commended: The Buoy & Oyster, Margate
Sponsored by: Gullands Solicitors

Kent Farmer of the Year
Winner: Loddington Farm
Location: Maidstone

Runner Up: Nonington Farm, Goodnestone
Highly Commended: G L Boulden & Sons, Romney Marsh
Sponsored by: BTF Partnership

Kent Food or Drink Business of the Year
Winner: Provenance Potatoes
Location: Deal
Sponsored by: Southern Coop

Kent Start-up Food & Drink Business of the Year
Winner: Anne's Restaurant
Location: Folkestone
Sponsored by: Furley Page

Kent Sustainable Food & Drink Award
Winner: Frasers
Location: Egerton
Sponsored by: Shepherd Neame

New Kent Food & Drink Product of the Year
Winner: Curd & Cure
Product: Rescue Range Broccoli & Stilton Soup
Location: Staplehurst
Sponsored by: Southern Coop

Kent's Tastiest Apple 2021
Winner: Elverton Farms Ltd
Product: Gala
Location: Faversham
Sponsored by: South East Farmer

Kent's Tastiest Pear 2021
Winner: B Piper Partnership
Product: Concorde
Location: Maidstone
Sponsored by: South East Farmer

Kent's Tastiest Cherry 2021
Winner: A C Hulme & Sons
Product: Penny variety
Location: Canterbury
Sponsored by: South East Farmer

Kent's Tastiest Raspberry 2021
Winner: R C Boucher & Sons
Product: Driscoll’s Zara variety
Location: Sittingbourne
Sponsored by: South East Farmer

Kent's Tastiest Strawberry 2021
Winner: John Myatt & Co
Product: Nobility variety
Location: Rochester
Sponsored by: South East Farmer

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WILD BOX

We provide a unique experience for private and corporate events.

Cheesemakers of Canterbury cheese shelves

The Cheesemakers Of Canterbury

Our cheese is made from unpasteurised British Freisan cows milk at the newly refurbished Dargate dairy site, Lamberhurst farm near Canterbury.

Cheese edited 1

Kingcott Dairy

Two award winning blue cheeses made on our dairy farm, Kentish Blue & Kingcott Blue, with milk from our gorgeous girls.

Traditional Vanilla

Solley's Kentish Ice Cream

We’ve been making Kentish Ice Cream for over three decades.

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The Small Holding

Frasers 00273 MAIN

Frasers Egerton

Located in the heart of the Kent countryside Frasers offers an idyllic setting on a 300-acre farm.

Provenance Potatoes

Provenance Potatoes Limited

We work with the very best growers in the Garden of England, supplying superb potatoes all year round to local wholesalers and retailers - in Kent and beyond.

Cellarhead Bottles

Cellar Head Brewing Company

Passion and quality is in everything we do....

Biddenden Ortega

Biddenden Vineyards

The vineyard has remained family owned and is today run by the second & third generation, drawing on many years of experience in winemaking at Biddenden.

Balfour March 34 websize

Balfour Winery

Celebrating 20 years at Balfour Winery

Beef Cheek

The Butcher's Block

The Butchers Block opened in the Summer of 2017 and took on its name in honour of owner and manager Simon.

Detling

Detling Community Store

Vegetable Selection
Reuthes Sign

Reuthes

Reuthe's is a magical 11-acre rare species woodland that hosts one of the country’s best selection of specialist rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and conifers.

Curd and Cure header