The Grand Finalists in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2019 have been revealed this week following an intensive eight-month judging process, supported by a record 18,000 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 & Drink Awards Banquet on May 15 2019 at the Amex Stadium in Falmer, hosted by awards patron Sally Gunnell OBE and BBC’s Danny Pike, where the winners will be revealed and receive their trophies.
Sussex farmer and Nuffield scholar, William Goodwin, who is chairman of the judges, said: “Over the last decade, Sussex has really earned its place as one of the leading counties in the UK for producing superb food and drink and this year’s Grand Finalists line up offers an impressive range of first class, diverse businesses from across the county.
“The competition continues to get tougher year on year and the Grand Finalists announced so far, 21 from West Sussex, three from East Sussex and three from Brighton & Hove, should feel immensely proud at making it through to this final stage in the competition.”
Young Sussex Farmer of the Year category, sponsored by the South of England Agricultural Society in association with Farmers Weekly magazine, received a record number of entries from across the region. The final three who have made it through include 27-year-old cider maker, Rachel Knowles from Trenchmore Farm in Cowfold; 31-year-old farm director and dairy herd manager, Kate Lywood from Marshalls Farm in Kirdford; and 23-year-old Stephen Rusling, an arable and contracting manager from Holmsted Farm in Haywards Heath.
The Society worked with two volunteer judges, Richard Butterfield from Brinsbury Campus at Chichester College and local farmer, Jeremy Burdett, who thoroughly enjoyed the process of seeking out the most outstanding three young farming candidates, aged 35 years or younger, working within food or drink production in agriculture, horticulture or viticulture in Sussex.
The hotly contended Sussex Young Chef of the Year cook off takes place next week and the six chefs competing this year are Lucas Fielding from The Cat Inn in West Hoathly, Dan Ibbotson from etch. in Brighton & Hove, Ben Lippett from 64 Degress in Brighton & Hove, Isabella Racagna from Farmer, Butcher, Chef in Goodwood, Charlie Simmons from Rathfinny Tasting Room in Alfriston and Ben Welfare from The Preston Park Tavern in Brighton & Hove.
Lead judge is nationally acclaimed chef and Great British Menu Winner, Matt Gillan from Electro Pirate who will be accompanied by George Blogg from Gravetye Manor near East Grinstead, Tristan Mason from Restaurant Tristan in Horsham, Daniel Clifford from the renowned two Michelin star Midsummer House in Cambridge and Fran Villani, Food Blogger and designer in Brighton. Sponsor and former restaurateur Adrian Burr from Blakes Foods will join the judging panel and all are excited to see who will win this coveted title for 2019.
All 30 Grand Finalists will be invited to join over 350 leaders in the food, drink and farming industry at the awards banquet on May 15 to discover who will be crowned overall winner of Young Sussex Farmer, food producer, drink producer, young chef, farmers market, food shop, butcher, eating experience, street food and newcomer of the year.
To book tickets for the 2019 awards banquet and celebrate the very best in Sussex food and drink visit www.sussexfoodawards.biz
The 2019 Grand Finalists, strictly in alphabetical order, are:
Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Southern Co-op
Goodwood Home Farm, Goodwood, West Sussex
Jengers Craft Bakery, Billingshurst, West Sussex
Real Patisserie, Brighton & Hove
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Natural PR
Bolney Wine Estate, Bolney, West Sussex
Brighton Gin, Brighton & Hove
Langham Brewery, Lodsworth, West Sussex
Young Sussex Farmer of the Year, sponsored by The South of England Agricultural Society in association with Farmers Weekly magazine
Rachel Knowles, Trenchmore Farm, Cowfold, West Sussex
Kate Lywood, Marshalls Farm, Kirdford, West Sussex
Stephen Rusling, Holmsted Farm, Haywards Heath, West Sussex
Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harvey’s Brewery
Chichester Farmers Market, West Sussex
Lewes Farmers Market, Cliffe Precinct, East Sussex
Shoreham Farmers Market, West Sussex
Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Sussex Food & Drink Network
Cowdray Farm Shop, Midhurst, West Sussex
Jeremy’s Two, Cowfold, West Sussex
Stansted Park Farm Shop, Stansted Park, West Sussex
Sussex Butcher of the Year, sponsored by RP Meats Wholesale Ltd
Cottenham’s of Lindfield, Lindfield, West Sussex
S K Hutchings Family Butchers and Graziers, Partridge Green, West Sussex
The Butcher and Deli, Rustington, West Sussex
Sussex Eating Experience of the Year, sponsored by Natural Partnerships CIC
etch. by Steven Edwards, Brighton & Hove
Farmer, Butcher, Chef, Goodwood, West Sussex
The Parsons Table, Arundel, West Sussex
Sussex Newcomer of the Year, sponsored by SRC-Time
Lorama Foods, Bosham, West Sussex
Skylark Cafe Restaurant, Eastbourne, East Sussex
Pollyanna’s Kitchen, West Chiltington, West Sussex
Sussex Street Food of the Year, sponsored by Horsham District Foodies supported by Food Rocks
Garlic Wood Events, Shipley, West Sussex
Mann and Moore, Horsham, West Sussex
The BBQ Project, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex