The Taste of Kent Awards 2020 are now officially open for public voting, following the official launch on Wednesday 18th
September at (and supported by) the Curious Brewery, Ashford. These prestigious awards organised by Produced in Kent, showcase the very best produce, products and food and drink businesses in Kent.
The public can now go online at www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk
to nominate and vote for the local food and drink heroes they would like to see recognised. You have until 2 Jan 2020 to cast your vote and in doing so you will be helping local businesses to receive the support and recognition they deserve.
Whether you want to vote for Kent’s best coffee shop or tearoom, wine, beer, cider and much more, the choice is yours.
Hundreds of businesses make it into the voting list each year, with the most popular in each category making it through to the final round of tasting, mystery shopping, mystery dining and expert judging panels.
Stephanie Durling, Manager of Produced in Kent comments: “Despite turbulent times for the business community due to uncertainty over Brexit, a possible general election and retail closures on the high street, the independent food and drink sector here in Kent is thriving, with artisan producers, cafes, restaurants, micro-breweries, distilleries and a growing wine sector. People come from across the world to visit Kent and enjoy its delicious food and drink and we want to make sure those stand out producers get the local, national and international attention they deserve. We urge businesses to get involved in the awards by encouraging their customers to nominate and vote for them.”
“We are delighted to welcome two new sponsors to our line-up this year. Gullands Solicitors are the new sponsors for the Kent Food Business of the Year and Furley Page are the new sponsors for the Kent Butcher’s Shop of the Year. We would also like to welcome Shepherd Neame who have joined up with BTF Partnership to co-sponsor the Hop Grower of the Year Award.
It is easy and free to vote, visit www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk
and click on the category that you would like to vote in. If you cannot see the name of the business already there, simply add them in and vote. The sooner you add them to the list, the more people will see them as well, so voting early is important. This is a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to our very hard-working food and drink producers, retailers, restaurants, pubs, cafes and bistros in the county.
The winners will be announced at the Taste of Kent Awards Gala dinner, which takes place in March 2020 at the Kent Event Centre.
This year’s categories open for public voting, are as follows:
Kent Butcher’s Shop of the Year, sponsored by Furley Page
A retailer selling a good range of Kent produced meat. They will be required to provide evidence of traceability to substantiate this for judging.
Kent Beer of the year, sponsored by Eurostar International
Beer produced predominantly from hops grown in Kent at a brewery based in Kent.
Kent Wine of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual, Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield
A wine produced by a Kent based winery/vineyard from grapes grown in Kent, Sussex, Essex or Surrey.
Kent Cider or Perry of the Year, sponsored by Wilkins Kennedy LLP
Cider or Perry made from apples or pears predominantly grown in Kent at a business based in Kent.
Kent Tastiest Juice of the Year, sponsored by AC Goatham & Son
A juice produced from fruit predominantly grown in Kent by a business based in Kent.
Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Bennett Opie
The retailer must sell a wide range of Kent produce/products. They will be required to provide details of the suppliers and product range for judging.
Kent Food Business of the Year, sponsored by Gullands
A business based in Kent, that make a range of food product(s) using ingredients sourced from Kent where possible which are available at multiple outlets.
Kent Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Thomson, Snell & Passmore
A formal dining experience. The restaurant will be actively using Kent produce where and when seasonally available and demonstrate this commitment in menus and marketing.
Kent Dining Pub or Bistro of the Year, sponsored by University of Kent
An informal dining experience in a licensed premises. The pub or bistro-style eatery will be actively serving Kent food and drink when seasonally available and demonstrate this commitment in menus and marketing.
Kent Coffee Shop or Tearoom, sponsored by Barrett’s of Canterbury
The coffee shop or tearoom will be actively using locally sourced produce where and when seasonally available and demonstrate this commitment in its menus and marketing.
Other awards, not open for public voting, are:
Kent Food Product Classes, sponsored by Shepherd Neame
Producers can enter their own products into a range of classes. The product must be available in retailers and/or caterers made from Kent primary produce that has undergone a value-added process over and above just being re-packaged.
Best Kent Food Product of the Year, sponsored by HSBC
A product selected by the judging panel as the overall winner from all the entries in the Kent Food Product Classes.
Kent Countryside Award, sponsored by Kent Downs and High Weald AONBs
This stand-alone award gives food and drink producers, farmers and rural businesses using local produce, the opportunity to enter their businesses directly into the competition visit www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk/awards/kent-food-farming-landscape-award/
for more information.
Kent Farm Diversification Award, sponsored by South East Farmer
A self-nominating award for Kent farmers, growers or food producers who have diversified their business to sustain its future.
Download the application form here: https://www.producedinkent.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Farm-Diversification-Form.docx
Garden of England Champions – Cherry & Soft Fruit, sponsored by The Kent County Agricultural Society
Four categories: Cherry, Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries.
Judged on taste by both professionals from the industry and members of the public at the Kent County Show, July 2019, the winners are:
Class 60 Cherries
AC Hulme & Sons, Hoaden, Ash near Canterbury
Class 70 Strawberries
B R Brooks & Son Goodnestone, Faversham
Class 80 Raspberries
J Myatt & Co Rochester
Class 90 Blackberries
Clock house farm Ltd Coxheath
Garden of England Champions – Top Fruit, sponsored by BTF Partnership
The winners of Produced in Kent’s Taste of Kent Awards 2020 Garden of England Champion Top Fruit Category, sponsored by BTF Partnership, will be announced in October at the National Fruit Show at Kent County Showground.
All Kentish apples and pears entered into the competitions will automatically by entered into the Taste of Kent Awards Top Fruit categories and will be taste tested and announced at the show.
Entries for the classes considered for this award are managed by the National Fruit Show.
Kent’s Best Hop Grower of the year co-sponsored by BTF Partnership Shepherd Neame
The winner of this competition will be determined in November 2019 at the annual Kent Hop Competition, organised by the Weald of Kent Ploughing Match.