How to enter the 2021 Suffolk Food & Drink Awards

Field to Fork Winners- Julie and Richard Lewis of Suffolk Sweet Tomatoes Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

2020 Field to Fork Winners- Julie and Richard Lewis of Suffolk Sweet Tomatoes - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk Food and Drink Award are back for 2021. Each year, the awards recognise the outstanding achievements of people in Suffolk who grow, rear, prepare and cook some of the best food and drink you’ll taste and buy anywhere in the country. Last year, even though we were able to decide the winners and present them with their awards, the Covid-19 pandemic meant we were unable to give them the celebration they so richly deserved. 

This year, the awards are back with a special event planned for September 27 at fabulous Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, just outside Ipswich. It will be a celebration. It will also be a chance to recognise and thank Suffolk’s inspirational hospitality industry which has worked so hard to adapt and survive with talent, ingenuity and dedication. 

The awards are only possible with the support of our generous sponsors. We thank them all and we're particularly delighted to welcome as our headline sponsor once again, and as sponsor of Young Chef of the Year, Bidfood, a major supplier of quality ingredients to the region’s hospitality industry. 

These are still uncertain times, and the hospitality industry needs our support now more than ever. So, it you know a potential award-winning business - or perhaps you run one - why not enter now?suffolkfada.co.uk

How to enter
Entries for the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards can be submitted by both the public and businesses and their customers. Now’s your time to support all those producers, farmers, shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes who were there when you needed them most during lockdown. Visit suffolkfada.co.uk for all the details you need to enter. The closing date is July 4, after which our panel of experts will begin judging, with the awards taking place on September 27, 2021.

Bill Pinney has been awarded the EAT Suffolk Food and Drink Hero of the year. Picture: SARAH LUCY BR

2020 Bill Pinney has been awarded the Suffolk Food and Drink Hero of the year. - Credit: Archant

The Face of Food 2021
Sponsored by Bidfood
This non-entry category recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the county’s food and drink sector. The winner could come from any part of the industry – a grower, producer, cook, restaurateur, retailer, educator or local food and drink champion. The judges will select someone who is an expert in their field, has a proven track record, inspires colleagues, educates and sets standards at which others aim to attain. This award winner is selected by judges using their industry knowledge. 

Best Product or Producer
Sponsored by Ashtons Legal
This award recognises the fantastic food and drink products being created within the county. Judges will be looking for a first-class product that demonstrates the manufacturer’s flair for creating, developing and delivering a distinctive, successful and respected item, either as a stand-alone or as part of its brand. Manufacture of this will have been in Suffolk, although it is not essential that every ingredient is sourced from within the county’s borders.

Pride of Suffolk -Suffolk Salami. L-R Ian Whitehead, Sarah Whitehead, Rebecca Miles, Sue Whitehead,

2020 Pride of Suffolk -Suffolk Salami. L-R Ian Whitehead, Sarah Whitehead, Rebecca Miles, Sue Whitehead, Harriet Miles - Credit: Archant

Best Newcomer -The Brewers Rattlesden L-R Daniel Russell-Poole, Zos Austin, Sheona Fraser, Martin La

2020 Best Newcomer -The Brewers Rattlesden L-R Daniel Russell-Poole, Zos Austin, Sheona Fraser, Martin Lang, Sam Sturman, winner of Chef of the Year - Credit: Archant

Best Newcomer
Sponsored by Bruni Erben
The award is open to any business or individual who has started a food and/or drink venture in the last three years. The judges will be looking for an outstanding early stage business which has already become a success story or shows promise to become one. The winner will be a company which is able to demonstrate a pioneering approach, strong performance over the past year, as well as the potential to flourish and be sustainable. Among the qualities the judges will be looking for are a dedicated effort to drive the business forward, potential and vision.

Cafe, coffee or tea shop of the Year
Sponsored by Castlemeadow Care
The judges will look for a café, coffee or teashop in Suffolk which is able to create an outstanding customer experience – a warm welcome, high quality tea and/or coffee, plus a range of other drinks, tasty food made from fresh, local produce, all served with an excellent level of customer service. Judges will be impressed by a relaxed, comfortable ambience, originality, an imaginative menu and aspects which make the café or tea shop special.

Best Coffee/Tea Shop -Cotado Espresso Bar. Richard Aslett and Eva Moscrop celebrating their award.Pi

2020 Best Coffee/Tea Shop -Cortado Espresso Bar. Richard Aslett and Eva Moscrop celebrating their award. - Credit: Archant

Chef of the Year- Sam Sturman -The Brewers at Rattlesden Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

2020 Chef of the Year- Sam Sturman -The Brewers at Rattlesden - Credit: Archant

Most Read

Chef of the Year
Sponsored by Fisher and Woods
This prestigious award is open to chefs who are currently working within the Suffolk food and drink industry. Competitors may come from all areas of the hospitality business, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors. This will recognise the close link of fine food 
with using the best of local produce.
Readers, businesses and chefs are able to nominate in this category. We will then contact all chefs to submit a formal entry with the hope of reaching a live cook-off. 

Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year**
Nominees will be accepted for exceptional restaurants across Suffolk which have the ability to create an unforgettable dining experience, cooked to a degree of excellence using fresh, local produce combined with an unsurpassed level of customer service, demonstrating and understanding the diners’ expectations. Judges will be looking for a fine-dining restaurant that has impeccable levels of customer satisfaction and menus which inspire and take diners on a taste sensational journey. 

Pub of the Year**
Nominees are accepted for fantastic pubs across Suffolk which have created a distinct and high-quality offering for their customers – both traditional drinking pubs and those that have built a reputation for their restaurant and/or bar menu. Common to all finalists will be great standards of customer service and understanding of their market, technical expertise in sourcing and providing a good range and standard of drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – plus a sense of character that makes a visit to these pubs enjoyable and memorable.

Pub of the Year- The Greyhound & TwentyOne . Damien Pearce and Jack Couzens. Picture: SARAH LUCY BRO

2020 Pub of the Year- The Greyhound & TwentyOne . Damien Pearce and Jack Couzens. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Best Independent food and Drink Retailer -Two Magpies Bakery Jasmin Eagle (Duty Manager) SARAH LUCY

2020 Best Independent food and Drink Retailer -Two Magpies Bakery Jasmin Eagle (Duty Manager) - Credit: Archant

Best Afternoon Tea- The Neathouse. L-R Rowan Mouncer, Archie Barker , Vashti Mouncer Picture: SARAH

2020 Best Afternoon Tea- The Neathouse. L-R Rowan Mouncer, Archie Barker, Vashti Mouncer - Credit: Archant

Best Retailer
Sponsored by East of England Co-op
This award recognises retailers who combine vision, a passion for high-quality products and freshness of local produce. Marks will be awarded for clear, well laid-out shops which offer a wide variety of great products, and for staff who demonstrate memorable standards of customer care, product knowledge and service. Judges will be looking for innovation in products and presentation, as well as any added facilities the retailer 
has to offer. This category is open to farmshops, markets and retailers.

Casual Restaurant of the Year**
Nominees will be accepted for casual restaurants across the county of Suffolk which have the ability to create a relaxed and inclusive dining experience. The menu will be varied, using local fresh produce and be served with an excellent level of customer service.  

Outstanding Front of House**
Judges in this category will be looking for the level of front of house provision that makes a truly enjoyable visit to the restaurant, hotel, café or pub. Understanding and anticipating customers’ needs, good knowledge of menus, dishes, provenance of ingredients and drink matching will be expected as well as a personable approach that complements the establishment and really enhances the visit. This category seeks to recognise an often overlooked yet extremely important sector of the hospitality industry, and nominations should be for teams/organisations but can also name specific individuals within that. 

Outstanding Front of House- Coach and Horses. L-R Nina. Cox, Mikey Eaton, Owen Gardner, Jemma Collin

2020 Outstanding Front of House- Coach and Horses. L-R Nina. Cox, Mikey Eaton, Owen Gardner, Jemma Collins, Prosper Hospitality. - Credit: Archant

Young Chef of the Year - Harvey Thompson -Tuddenham Mill Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

2020 Young Chef of the Year - Harvey Thompson -Tuddenham Mill - Credit: Archant

Young Chef of the Year
Sponsored by Bidfood
This category recognises the talents of a growing number of young people forging careers in the Suffolk hospitality industry, 
and seeks to encourage excellence and ambition. This prestigious award is open to young chefs who are currently working within the Suffolk food and drink industry. Competitors may come from all areas of the hospitality business, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors. This will recognise the close link of fine food with using the best of local produce. Readers, businesses and chefs are able to nominate in this category. The Food and Drink Awards team will then contact all chefs to submit a formal entry with the hope of reaching a live cook-off.

** Categories available for sponsorship - please contact Stephanie Griffin - stephanie.griffin@archant.co.uk

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