Four Thanet businesses reach finals of Taste of Kent Awards

The Thanet finalists in the Taste of Kent Awards

Four Thanet businesses have made it through to the finals of the Taste of Kent Awards.

Produced in Kent, which organises the awards, has revealed the top three from each category.

They will now enter the final stages in a bid to be crowned winners at the black-tie awards dinner on Thursday, March 8, at the Kent Events Centre.

For the first time in the 14-year history of the awards, there was a tie in the restaurant category so there are four restaurants being mystery dined this year.

Thanet finalists

The Thanet four are Gadds No 3 from Ramsgate Brewery in the Kent Beer of the Year section; Bessie’s tea Parlour in Broadstairs and The Chai Stop in Minster for Kent Food Producer and The Buoy & Oyster, Margate, for Kent Restaurant of the Year.

The awards have prompted a huge response from the people of Kent, who are responsible for nominating and voting for the finalists, demonstrating that Kent has a very vibrant food and drink sector.

Stephanie Durling, from Produced in Kent, said: “From all over the county, the people of Kent have chosen the flavours, products, produce and venues they have enjoyed the most over the last 12 months.

“For the winners, these awards are the ultimate accolade from their customers and confirmation of their food and drink excellence.”

The three finalists in each category will now go forward to be judged by independent mystery shoppers, mystery diners or expert judging panels to find Kent’s ultimate ‘food and drink heroes’.

The winners will be revealed at the awards dinner catered for by Jason Freedman from Curiously Kentish in Birchington and the drinks reception is sponsored by Synecore.

The finalists in alphabetical order:

Kent Beer of the Year, sponsored by Eurostar

Goodness Gracious Me IPA – Goody Ales

Gadds No.3 – Ramsgate Brewery

Reliant Robin – Rockin Robin Brewery

Kent Butcher Shop of the Year

S.W.Doughty – Doddington

Southborough Butchers – Tunbridge Wells

Stour Valley Game – Chilham

Kent Cider or Perry of the Year, sponsored by Wilkins Kennedy LLP

Elderflower Cider – Turners Cider – Marden

Kentish Discovery – Kentish Pip – Bekesbourne

Wise Owl Bittersweet Dry Still Cider – Wise Owl Cider – High Halden

Kent Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Shopper Anonymous

Bessie’s Tea Parlour – Broadstairs

Sissinghurst Pigs – Sissinghurst

The Chai Stop – Minster

Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Opies

Austens of Rochester – Rochester

Barham Village Store – Barham

Macknade Fine Foods – Faversham

Kent Tastiest Juice of the Year, AC Goatham & Son

Apple & Cherry Juice – Chegworth Valley – Maidstone

Apple Juice – Biddenden Vineyards – Biddenden

Spiced Apple Juice – Owlets Fruit Juice Lamberhurst

Kent Wine of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual

Bacchus – Chapel Down – Tenterden

Ortega – Biddenden Vineyards – Biddenden

Sparkling White – The Mount Vineyard – Shoreham (Sevenoaks)

Kent Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Thomson, Snell & Passmore

The Buoy & Oyster – Margate

The Carriage Restaurant – Faversham

The Corner House – Canterbury

The Mulberry Tree – Boughton Monchelsea

Kent Pub or Bistro of the Year, sponsored by University of Kent

The Ferry House Inn, Isle of Sheppey

The George Inn, Molash

The Hop & Huffkin, Sandwich

Other awards, not open for public voting, are:

Kent Food Product Classes, sponsored by Shepherd Neame

Best Kent Food Product of the Year, sponsored by HSBC

Kent Countryside Award, sponsored by Kent Downs and High Weald AONBs