Hosted by awards patron, Sally Gunnell OBE DL and Danny Pike of BBC Sussex, the awards ceremony at the Amex Stadium in Brighton on Thursday (January 28) was a sell-out, with almost 400 leaders in the food, drink and farming industry gathering for what is now dubbed as ‘the Sussex foodie event of the year’.
Winners on the night included Ridgeview Wine Estate, in Ditchling Common, who scooped the trophy for Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, and Horsham Local Produce Market won the accolade of Sussex Farmers’ Market.
Charlie and Sarah Hughes, from Southview Farm, in Pulborough, were named Sussex Farmer of the Year, while Ryan Tomkinson, of The Pass in South Lodge, Lower Beeding, won Sussex Young Chef of the Year - a title he narrowly lost out on last year.
Sussex Producer of the Year went to The Traditional Cheese Dairy, in Stonegate, East Sussex, while the award for Sussex Butcher went to S K Hutchings, in Partridge Green.
The Cat Inn, West Hoathly, went home with the trophy for Sussex Eating Experience of the Year, and this year the accolade of Sussex Food Shop was awarded to Sharnfold Farm Shop, in Stone Cross, East Sussex.
This is the first year the awards have run the category ‘Sussex Street Food Vendor’ with Brighton’s The Trolls Pantry victorious.
Meanwhile, the hotly contested Sussex Newcomer of the Year went to Eggs to Apples, in Hurst Green, East Sussex.
These awards are all about supporting and boosting local farmers, food and drink producers and the outlets which use and sell superb local fare.
Starting from small beginnings, the awards have grown to become prestigious and respected, attracting more than 10,000 votes from members of the public this year and huge support from business in the county, bringing together the whole local food and farming community.
Winners and runners-up for 2016:
Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative
Winner: The Traditional Cheese Dairy, Stonegate, East Sussex
Runners-up: Higgidy, Shoreham-by-sea, West Sussex and Springs’ Smoked Salmon, Edburton, West Sussex
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Rix & Kay Solicitors
Winner: Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling Common, East Sussex
Runners-up: Dark Star Brewing Co Ltd, Partridge Green, West Sussex and Nutbourne Vineyards, Pulborough, West Sussex
Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Sodexo Prestige
Winner: Ryan Tomkinson, The Pass, South Lodge, Lower Beeding, West Sussex
Runners-up: Michael Sutherland, The Sussex Ox, Polegate, East Sussex and Stephanie Hayward, Ockenden Manor, Cuckfield, West Sussex
Sussex Farmer of the Year, in association with Farmers Weekly
Winner: Charlie and Sarah Hughes, Southview Farm, Pulborough, West Sussex
Runners-up: Julia and Simon Feakes, Sussex Lamb, Horsham, West Sussex and Tim and Rupert Hoare, Adsdean Farm, Funtingdon, West Sussex
Sussex Butcher of the Year, sponsored by Absolute Butchery
Winner: S K Hutchings, Partridge Green, West Sussex
Runners-up: A C Coughtrey Butchers, Pulborough, West Sussex and Barfields Butchers, Brighton
Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harveys of Lewes
Winner: Horsham Local Produce Market, West Sussex
Runners-up: Lewes Farmers Market, East Sussex and Shoreham Farmers Market, West Sussex
Sussex Eating Experience of the Year, co-sponsored by Natural PR and Sussex Food & Drink Network
Winner: The Cat Inn, West Hoathly, West Sussex
Runners-up: The Curlew Restaurant, Bodiam, East Sussex and The Sussex Ox, Polegate, East Sussex
Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Wealden District Council
Winner: Sharnfold Farm Shop, Stone Cross, East Sussex
Runners-up: Charlie’s Farm Shop, Bury, West Sussex and Rushfields Farm Shop, Poynings, West Sussex
Sussex Newcomer of the Year, sponsored by Spofforths Chartered Accountants
Winner: Eggs to Apples, Hurst Green, East Sussex
Runners-up: Coggings & Co, Brighton and Etch Food, Billingshurst, West Sussex
Sussex Street Food Vendor of the Year, co-sponsored by Food Rocks and Hepworth & Co Brewers Ltd
Winner: The Trolls Pantry, Brighton
Runners-up: Boca Loco, Arundel, West Sussex and Jah Jyot, Southwater, West Sussex
See this week’s paper for special feature on the awards night.
For more information on the awards visit www.sussexfoodawards.biz
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