OLYMPIC gold medal winner and inspiration Sally Gunnell has shown her dedication to fresh local produce by becoming patron of the Sussex Food and Drink Awards, organisers announced.
Earlier this year, Sally helped kick off the 2012/13 awards at the South of England Show, revealing that it was eating good, super-fresh ingredients which made the difference to her fitness and allowed her to win gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, rather than silver or bronze.
Having found out more about the awards, which are all about celebrating the best local food and drink in Sussex, she now wants to be a part of them.
“It is much healthier to eat fresh, local food – and it’s great to support your community at the same time, so I am a huge advocate of eating local,” said Sally, who grew up on a farm and has lived in Sussex for many years.
“I enjoy my food – it’s part of my relaxation. I enjoy eating out and the social side of it, sharing something really good. But I also believe we are the role models for our children and I eat fresh and local with them whenever I can – and we’re blessed with fantastic food here in Sussex.”
Said Clive Beddall, Chairman of the Judges: “We are delighted to have Sally on board – this takes the awards to a new level and Sally’s energy and spirit will help us to spread the word even further about the superb local produce made in Sussex.”
Public voting for the best farmers, food and drink producers, farmers markets, eateries, butchers, local shops and young chef closes at midnight on October 14. Everyone has one vote per category either online or through SMS text voting, with all details at www.sussexfoodawards.biz
Winners will be revealed at a fabulous Sussex produce banquet at the Amex Stadium, Falmer, on January 31. Plans are already under way for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2013/14, anyone interested in sponsorship for next year can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Local outlets among the finalists include Frank Richards and Sons, Lewes, in the Sussex Butcher of the Year; Holmansbridge Farm Shop, Barcombe, in the Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop category; and The Ram Inn, at Firle, in the Best Sussex Eating Experience.