Just one Thanet business makes the finals of the Taste of Kent Awards

Gadds 11 is in the awards shortlist Photo Adam Dark

There is just one Thanet contender in the finals of this year’s Taste of Kent Awards.

The honours, organised by Produced in Kent, are voted for by the public. The aim is to showcase Kent’s food, drink and local produce businesses.

The top three in each category 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 7 March  at the Kent Event Centre, Detling.

Thanet is represented in just one category this year with the Ramsgate Brewery being shortlisted for its local alcohol Gadds 11 ale.

Stephanie Durling, Manager at Produced in Kent, said: “We have had a fantastic level of participation from both the public and the food and drink businesses here in Kent once again this year. Incredibly, we have seen 25% more businesses nominated and 40% more votes cast overall than last year.”

“Our brand-new category coffee shop/tea room has received the most votes for any new category ever and we have had a record number of fruit juice votes this year.

“Also, for the first time ever there is a low alcohol beer, Gadds’ No. 11. and Vegan Perks from Faversham is the first vegan business to have reached the finals, reflecting current trends, tastes and choices consumers are now making.

New for this year’s awards, in mid-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 in each category are:

Kent Beer of the Year, sponsored by Eurostar International

Gadds’ No 11 by Ramsgate Brewery

Good Sheppard by Goody Ales, Herne Bay

Reliant Robin by Rockin Robin Brewery, Maidstone

Kent Butchers Shop of the Year

Hammond’s Butchers, Matfield

Shaun and Steve O’Meara butchers, Isle of Sheppey

S.W.Doughty, Doddington

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

Biddenden Strong Kentish Cider, Biddenden Vineyards

Disco Dudda, Dudda’s Tun Cider, Doddington

High Diver, Kentish Pip, Bekesbourne

Kent Coffee Shop or Tea Room of the Year – Sponsored by Barretts of Canterbury

Café Nucleus, Chatham

The Independent Pedaler, Bridge

The Yard, Faversham

Kent Dining Pub or Bistro of the Year – Sponsored by University of Kent

The Butcher’s Block, Burham

The Ferry House Inn, Sheerness

The King’s Head, Wye

Kent Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Insight6

Kent Crisps & Kentish Oils, Bridge

Precious Porkers, Collier Street

Vegan Perks, Faversham

Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Bennett Opie

Austen’s of Rochester

Barham Village Store, Barham

MB Farms Food Hall, Faversham

Kent Restaurant of the Year – Sponsored by Thomson, Snell & Passmore

The Corner House, Canterbury

The Small Holding, Kilndown

Thackeray’s, Royal Tunbridge Wells

Kent Tastiest Juice of the Year, sponsored by AC Goatham & Son

Kentish Cherry Juice, Dallaways Cherries, Northiam

Park Farm Apple juice, Taywell farm shop, Goudhurst Red Love Apple Juice, Biddenden Vineyards

Kent Wine of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual

Bacchus, Chapel Down, Tenterden

Kits Koty Chardonnay, Chapel Down, Tenterden

Ortega, Biddenden Vineyards