2017 Winners & Finalists

Newcomer of the Year

This popular category was open to anyone in the food or drink business who had started a new venture within the last 18 months. We wanted to know what impact they have made on their local community and whether they have started to achieve any success further afield. Are they helping to promote Kent food and drink to a new audience?

Sponsored by K Sports

Highly commended…

Featherbys, Gillingham

The Dog at Wingham

And the winner is…

Houdini’s Magic Bar, Broadstairs!

 

product / producer of the Year award

This category celebrates our local food and drink producers. Whether it’s gorgeous Kentish fizz or delicious Kent preserves, we wanted to find the producers who play such a vital role in the county’s food and drink economy.

Sponsored by Financial Advice & Services

Highly commended…

Hendrick’s of Hythe

Curiously Kentish, Birchington

And the winner is…

Kent Crisps & Kentish Oils, Ramsgate

 

 Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year

Tea and coffee shops are an integral part of the Kent food and drink scene. Who makes the best tea and coffees, serves the nicest cakes and biscuits and the freshest scones? Are the sandwiches freshly cut and liberally filled? Most importantly, are most of the ingredients locally sourced?

Sponsored by La De Da Boutique

Highly commended…

Daily Bread, Rusthall

Beyond The Grounds, Tonbridge

And the winner is…

The Bow Window Coffee Shop and Café, Lenham

 

Outstanding Customer Service

Service has to be just right – not lacking, but not intrusive either. This award goes to the establishment that blends warmth and courtesy with knowledge and efficiency.

Sponsored by Shepherd Neame

Highly commended…

Creek Creative Gallery, Faversham

Sulston’s Kitchen, Tonbridge

And the winner is…

Hendrick’s of Hythe!

 

Farm Shop of the Year

This award goes to a farm shop that embraces provenance and knowledge. Whether they are selling meat from their rare breed herd, honey from their own hives or homemade cheese, the winner must exemplify the field to fork philosophy.

Sponsored by Karen & Kim Introductions

Highly commended…

Chegworth Farm Shop, Tunbridge Wells

Farmer’s Farm Shop at Teston, Maidstone

And the winner is…

Groombridge Farm Shop, Tunbridge Wells!

 

Best Independent Food and Drink Retailer

This award recognises an establishment who will consistently show an expert knowledge and, like all our finalists, an unrivaled passion for their trade. They could be a local deli, a wine and beer store, the village greengrocer or something unique.

Sponsored by Illuminate Skin Clinics

Highly commended…

Hendrick’s of Hythe

Curiously Kentish, Birchington

And the winner is…

The Heath Stores Horsmonden, Tonbridge

 

Family Dining Award

This award is for the restaurant that comes to mind when you want to please everyone. The nominees have a good and varied set of menu options for all ages as well as some entertainment for the little ones.

Sponsored by The Bakers Bicycle

Highly commended…

The Blean Tavern

The Quills, Rochester

And the winner is…

Roost Restaurant & Cafe, Margate

 

Farmers’ Market of the Year

This category incorporates all farmers markets whether established or upcoming, we were looking for a market that has shown the ability to garner a following, create a community of foodies and maintain its foodie magic.

Sponsored by Perrys Chartered Accountants

Highly commended…

Wye Farmers’ Market

Cranbrook Farmers’ Market

And the winner is…

Cliftonville Farmers’ Market

 

Pub of the Year

A great pub should act as a hub for your community. It should also know exactly what is required to keep the regulars coming back. We are blessed in Kent with so many great pubs.

Sponsored by The Foxhunter Park

Highly commended…

Three Mariners, Oare

The Plough Inn, Sittingbourne

And the winner is…

Kings Head, Wye!

 

Restaurant of the Year

The next award is for Restaurant of the Year, this award goes to a restaurant that makes you feel special because of their extraordinary service and delicious food. This restaurant would be the first port of call to show off to out-of-town visitors and should champion locally sourced ingredients and a wine list that includes local and international choices.

Sponsored by The Canterbury Auction Galleries

Highly commended…

Red Sails Restaurant, Faversham

The Dog at Wingham

And the winner is…

Chapter One Restaurant, Orpington!

 

Chef of the Year

With Kent’s restaurants seeing something of a renaissance in recent years, the number of chefs known for their expert use of seasonal produce and creative menus is arguably higher than ever before. We were looking for chefs producing consistently exceptional menus that really get diners talking.

Sponsored by Umbermaster Kitchens

Highly commended…

Anil Kumar at Flavours by Kumar, Ramsgate

Robert Taylor at The Compasses Inn, Crundale

And the winner is…

Steve Whitney at Whits of Walmer!

 

Food and Drink Hero of the Year

As we have learnt tonight, Kent has a fabulously vibrant food and drink scene featuring an ever-changing spectrum of new restaurants, tasty produce and talented chefs. This final category is designed to celebrate an individual who is making the most significant contribution to the county’s food and drink community. It could be a local celebrity, journalist, food critic, farmer or farmer’s wife, chef, landlord, barman, sommelier or maitre d’. But what this award is looking to achieve more than anything else is to recognise someone who goes above and beyond their everyday job to make a difference to the Kent food and drink industry.

Sponsored by Hadlow Group

And the winner is…

Jonathan Neame at Shepherd Neame!