Hosted by awards patron, Sally Gunnell OBE and Danny Pike of BBC Sussex, the evening was a sell out, with over 350 leaders in the food, drink and farming industry gathering for what is now dubbed as ‘the Sussex foodie event of the year’.
Guests were treated to a ‘Sussex bubbly reception’, sponsored by Harveys and Carr Taylor, followed by a stunning seven-course banquet created by stadium caterers, Sodexo Prestige, using top local ingredients supplied by various local businesses.
Now in their ninth year, the awards are all about supporting and boosting local farmers, food and drink producers and the outlets which use and sell superb local fare.
Olympic champion Sally Gunnell said: “This is my third year as patron for the Sussex Food & Drink Awards and yet again we have been treated to another impressive line up of winners and runners up. As a farmer’s daughter, I am a huge advocate of eating fresh, local food as well as supporting your community and these awards do exactly that.”
Former Sussex Young Chef of the Year and MasterChef Professional Champion, Steven Edwards, attended the awards ceremony and was absolutely delighted for fellow chef from South Lodge Hotel, Tim Sheed who won this year’s Sussex Young Chef of the Year category.
The awards scheme is run by Natural Partnerships Community Interest Company (CIC), co-directed by Hilary Knight of the Sussex Food & Drink Network and Paula Seager, Managing Director of Natural PR Ltd, with support from a loyal and high ranking group of sponsor judges along with independent chairman of judges and prominent county farmer, William Goodwin.
Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2014/15 Winners are:
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Sussex Food & Drink Network
Winner - Wobblegate, Bolney, West Sussex
Runners up - Highdown Vineyard, Ferring, West Sussex and Langham Brewery, Lodsworth, Petworth, West Sussex
Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Veasey & Sons and Cheese Please
Winner - Rushfields Farm Shop, Poynings, West Sussex
Runners up - Charlie’s Farm Shop, Bury, near Pulborough and Tablehurst Farm Shop, Forest Row, East Sussex
Sussex Butcher of the Year, sponsored by Absolute Butchery
Winner - A C Coughtrey, Pulborough.
Runners up - Bramptons Butchers, Kemptown, Brighton & Hove and Leppards Family Butchers, Mayfield, East Sussex
Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harveys Brewery
Winner – Steyning Farmers Market.
Runners up - Horsham Local Produce Market, West Sussex and Lewes Farmers Market.
Sussex Eating Experience, sponsored by Natural PR
Winner - The Curlew, Bodiam, East Sussex
Runners up - Coach & Horses, Danehill, East Sussex and Zari’s Restaurant & Lounge, Crawley.
Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Sodexo Prestige
Winner - Tim Sheed, The Pass, South Lodge Hotel, Lower Beeding, near Horsham.
Runners up - Dan Cotton, The Crabtree, Lower Beeding, near Horsham and Ryan Tomkinson, East Sussex National, Little Horsted, East Sussex
Sussex Farmer of the Year, sponsored by Spofforths Chartered AccountantsWinner - Tim Hassell, Goodwood Home Farm, Goodwood, near Chichester.
Runners up – Charlie Hughes, Southview Farm Dairy and The Goring family, Wiston Estate, Washington, West Sussex
Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative
Winner - Cocoa Loco, West Grinstead, near Horsham.
Runners up - Caroline’s Dairy, Sidlesham and Nell Ball Farm Foods Ltd, Plaistow, near Horsham