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
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