Sussex food and drink grand finalists celebrate success

The awards trophy
The awards trophy

The grand finalists in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2018 were revealed today following an intensive eight-month judging process, supported by a record 15,000 public votes.

These inspirational Sussex food and drink heroes can now look forward to an exciting night of celebrations at ‘the Sussex Foodie event of the year’, the spectacular Sussex Food and Drink Awards Banquet on February 7, 2018, at the Amex Stadium, hosted by awards patron Sally Gunnell OBE and BBC’s Danny Pike, where the winners will be revealed and receive their trophies.

Paula Seager, William Goodwin, Sally Gunnell OBE and Hilary Knight

Paula Seager, William Goodwin, Sally Gunnell OBE and Hilary Knight

Now in its 12th year, the awards are all about supporting and boosting local farmers, food and drink producers and the outlets that use and sell this superb local fare.

Starting from small beginnings, the awards have grown to become prestigious and respected, with huge support from business in the county, bringing together the whole local food and farming community.

Sussex farmer and Nuffield scholar William Goodwin, who is chairman of the judges, said: “We have such an exciting grand finalists line up this year, offering an impressive range of first class, diverse businesses from across the county.

"The competition was really tough this year and the 32 grand finalists, 20 from West Sussex, seven from East Sussex and five from Brighton and Hove, should feel immensely proud at making it through to this final stage in the competition.

Sparkling cheers for 2018 grand finalists

Sparkling cheers for 2018 grand finalists

“Sussex’s reputation continues to grow and is now considered one of the leading regions in the UK for producing superb food and drink.

"We are delighted that the Sussex Food and Drink Awards scheme was supported by a record 15,000 public votes this year, testament that all our grand finalists would be worthy winners.”

Tickets for the BAFTA-style awards ceremony on February 7, 2018, are now on sale and include a spectacular seven-course Sussex produce banquet produced by Sodexo Prestige at the Amex Stadium in Brighton.

The 2018 grand finalists, strictly in alphabetical order, are:

Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Southern Co-op
Bookham Harrison Farms, Rudgwick, West Sussex
Just Brownies, Shipley, West Sussex
Lighthouse Bakery & School, Robertsbridge, East Sussex
The Raw Chocolate Company, Henfield, West Sussex
The Real Pie Company, Crawley, West Sussex

Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Natural PR with support from The Pass at South Lodge Hotel
Brighton Gin, Brighton and Hove
Ridgeview Estate Winery, Ditchling Common, East Sussex
Wobblegate, Bolney, West Sussex

Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Wealden District Council
Plaw Hatch Farm Shop, Sharpthorne, West Sussex
Rushfields Farm Shop, Poynings, West Sussex
The Sussex Produce Company, Steyning, West Sussex

Sussex Butcher of the Year, co-sponsored by RP Meats Wholesale Ltd
Archers of Westfield, Westfield, East Sussex
Garlic Wood Butchery, Steyning, West Sussex
New Street Butchers & Deli, Horsham, West Sussex

Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harvey’s Brewery
Chichester Farmers Market, West Sussex
Shoreham Farmers Market, West Sussex
Steyning Farmers Market, West Sussex

Sussex Eating Experience of the Year, sponsored by Blakes Foods
64 Degrees, Brighton and Hove
The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst, West Sussex
The Parsons Table, Arundel, West Sussex

Sussex Newcomer of the Year, co-sponsored by Kreston Reeves and Sussex Food and Drink Network
etch., Brighton and Hove
The Parsons Table, Arundel, West Sussex
Greyhound Brewery, West Chiltington, West Sussex

Young Sussex Farmer of the Year for Plumpton College in association with Farmers Weekly
Christopher Appleton, Arlington, East Sussex
Luke Spalding, Ditchling Common, East Sussex
Jack Stilwell, Forestside, West Sussex

Sussex Street Food of the Year, sponsored by Horsham Time Well Spent with support from Food Rocks and judges from super chefs Steven Edwards and Ian Swainson
Garlic Wood Farm, Steyning, West Sussex
Jah Jyot, Southwater, West Sussex
Pig and Jacket, Lewes, East Sussex

Sussex Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Sodexo Prestige with support from super chef Matt Gillan
George Boarer from etch., Brighton
Michael Notman-Watt from 64 Degrees, Brighton
Michael Sutherland, The Star Inn, Alfriston, East Sussex

For more information about the awards and banquet ticket sales go to www.sussexfoodawards.biz