After a record-breaking year with 18,000 public votes, celebrations were in full flow last night (Wednesday, May 15) at the prestigious Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2019 ceremony, where the winners in the Sussex food and drink industry took centre stage to receive their coveted trophies at the Amex Stadium in Falmer, Brighton.
The atmosphere was electric as winners were revealed in front of 350 guests and 22-year-old Isabella Raccagna from Farmer, Butcher, Chef in Goodwood was overjoyed as she was announced as the first woman to have won Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Blakes Foods.
She said on the night: “I am completely speechless, and that is surprising for me.“I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and get better producing tasty food and making it look great.”
The Young Sussex Farmer of the Year, sponsored by the South of England Agricultural Society in association with Farmers Weekly magazine also went to another young lady, Kate Lywood from Marshalls Farm in Kirdford.
Brighton Gin won drinks producer, its founder and orginator Kathy Caton said: “We are always the bridesmaid at these things so it feels flipping awesome to be the bride.”
Guests at the awards ceremony were treated to a wonderful ‘Sussex bubbly and ale reception’, sponsored by NFU Mutual Pulborough, with Harvey’s Ale, Carr Taylor sparkling wine, Wobblegate apple juice, South Downs Water and Brighton Gin accompanied by canapés from The Naked Food Company.
This was followed by a seven-course banquet created by stadium caterers Sodexo Prestige, using the very best local and seasonal ingredients supplied by Blakes Foods, Bookham & Harrison, Cocoa Loco, Deerview Fine Foods, Edgcumbes Coffee Roasters and Tea Blenders, Jengers Craft Bakery, Southview Farm Dairy, T G Fruits, The Cheese Man and Veasey & Sons Fishmongers.
Over the last 13 years the awards have received more than 4,200 business entries and 151,000 public votes promoting hundreds of businesses as grand finalists.
Natural Partnerships Community Interest Company (CIC) runs the awards, co-directed by Hilary Knight of the Sussex Food & Drink Network and Paula Seager, Managing Director of Natural PR Ltd.
They continue to attract support from a loyal and high-ranking group of sponsors and expert judges along with independent chairman of judges, Sussex farmer and Nuffield scholar, William Goodwin.
Paula Seager said: “We are incredibly proud of the Sussex Food & Drink Awards and it’s our goal to support and promote food and drink businesses in the county, bringing together the whole local food and farming community. Tonight is a great testament to that.
“Yet again, the 2019 line up has been hugely impressive and we are thrilled to have received record-breaking numbers of entries and public votes again this year. We want to wish our winners, grand finalists and finalists our warmest congratulations. Sussex food and drink is in safe hands with an exciting future ahead.
“As ever a huge thank you to our new sponsors and supporters who have come on board this year alongside our loyal, longstanding partners, our patron Sally Gunnell OBE and amazing host Danny Pike, who all share a vital role in making these awards such a great success.”
You can see all the winners here
Visit www.sussexfoodawards.biz for further information on the awards,
The 2019 winners and Grand Finalists in all ten categories are
Sponsored by Southern Co-op, the Sussex Food Producer of the Year 2019 winner is Real Patisseriefrom Brighton & Hove. Grand Finalists are Goodwood Home Farm in Goodwood, West Sussex andJengers Craft Bakery in Billingshurst, West Sussex.
Sponsored by Natural PR, the Sussex Drink Producer of the Year 2019 winner is Brighton Gin fromBrighton and Hove. Grand Finalists are Bolney Wine Estate in Bolney, West Sussex and Langham Brewery in Lodsworth, West Sussex.
Sponsored by the South of England Agricultural Society in association with Farmers Weekly magazine, the Young Sussex Farmer of the Year 2019 winner is Kate Lywood from Marshalls Farm in Kirdford, West Sussex. Grand Finalists are Rachel Knowles from Trenchmore Farm in Cowfold, West Sussex and Stephen Rusling from Holmsted Farm in Haywards Heath, West Sussex.
Sponsored by Harvey’s Brewery, the Sussex Farmers Market of the Year 2019 winner is Shoreham Farmers Market, West Sussex. Grand Finalists are Lewes Farmers Market, Cliffe Precinct, East Sussex and Chichester Farmers Market, West Sussex.
Sponsored by Sussex Food &Drink Network, the Sussex Food Shop of the Year 2019 winner is Cowdray Farm Shop in Midhurst, West Sussex. Grand Finalists are Stansted Park Farm Shop in Stansted Park, West Sussex and Jeremy’s Two in Cowfold, West Sussex.
Sponsored by RP Meats Wholesale Ltd, the Sussex Butcher of the Year 2019 winner is Cottenham’s of Lindfield – Craft Butcher in Lindfield, West Sussex. Grand Finalists are S K Hutchings Family Butchers and Graziers in Partridge Green, West Sussex and The Butcher and Deli in Rustington, WestSussex.
Sponsored by Natural Partnerships CIC, the Sussex Eating Experience of the Year 2019 winner is The Parsons Table in Arundel, West Sussex. Grand Finalists are etch. by Steven Edwards in Brighton and Hove and Farmer, Butcher, Chef in Goodwood, West Sussex.
Sponsored by SRC-Time, the Sussex Newcomer of the Year 2019 winner is Lorama Foods in Bosham, West Sussex. Grand Finalists are Skylark Cafe Restaurant in Eastbourne, East Sussex and Pollyanna’s Kitchen in West Chiltington, West Sussex.
Sponsored by Horsham District Foodies supported by Food Rocks, the Sussex Street Food of the Year 2019 winner is Mann and Moore in Horsham, West Sussex. Grand Finalists are Garlic Wood Events in Shipley, West Sussex and The BBQ Project in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex.
Sponsored by Blakes Foods, the Sussex Young Chef of the Year 2019 winner is Isabella Raccagna from Farmer, Butcher, Chef in Goodwood, West Sussex. Grand Finalists are Charlie Simmons from Rathfinny Tasting Room in Alfriston, East Sussex and Dan Ibbotson from etch. in Brighton and Hove.
Picture: Southern News & Pictures (SNAP)