PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 August 2015
Searching out the very finest of Norfolk's fare, our judges are eating, meeting and assessing their way across the county, ready to reveal the winners of the EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2015 in association with the East of England Co-Op next month.
Stacia Briggs, judging the Made in Norfolk Award, sponsored by Kettle Foods.
The EDP and Evening News writer says: “It never ceases to amaze me what Norfolk has to offer when it comes to food and drink, and to be part of a process that rewards people for their hard work is a real honour.”
Sally Church, judging Best School Food Project, sponsored by Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA).
Sally, a food and catering trainer, who has run cookery clubs and courses for children across Norfolk, says: “It fills me with admiration for those teachers or business people who can provide amazing opportunities for children, that really make a difference to their food education.”
Sarah de Chair, judging Field to Fork, sponsored by Easton and Otley College.
Sarah was show manager for the RNAA and is chairman of Norfolk Food and Drink Festival. She says: “It is not everyday you get to walk though a field of pigs or be shown the intricacies of growing strawberries.”
Richard Hughes, judging the Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by Hansells Solicitors and Financial Advisers.
Richard runs The Lavender House restaurant and his cookery school at Brundall, is a director at Norwich Assembly House, and writes for EDP Norfolk magazine each month. A past winner of the Outstanding Achievement award, he says: “The awards are a chance for people and businesses to get the recognition they deserve for a huge amount of hard work in an industry that takes no prisoners.”
Mary Kemp, judging Pride of Norfolk, sponsored by Bernard Matthews.
A winner of the Norfolk Food and Drink Hero accolade and a regular food writer with this magazine, Mary runs cookery theatres across East Anglia and a cookery school from her East Harling farmhouse kitchen. She says: “It is wonderful to be part of the judging of the very best of Norfolk. When I won my award, it was so humbling and at the same time lovely and amazing too.”
Tim Kinnaird, judging at the Chef of the Year cooking competition, sponsored by City College Norwich.
The pastry chef, who was a consultant paediatrician before reaching the finals of MasterChef, runs Macarons and More in Norwich, and says: “Judging the awards is a real treat. It’s very special to be part of an event that celebrates Norfolk food and highlights its place among the finest the UK has to offer.”
Michelle Steele, judging Best Independent Food and Drink Retailer, sponsored by Durrants.
Michelle owns and runs Earsham Street Deli in Bungay, and she and her husband also supply ingredients to restaurants, hotels and caterers through their company Steele Fine Foods. Michelle says: “I’m particularly excited about visiting the retailers and being inspired by their products, displays and individual styles, talking to them and seeing how their dedication and passion shines though.”
Anna Stevenson, judging The Children’s Choice Award, sponsored by Norse.
Anna, who runs a public relations and marketing company and is the co-ordinator for Norfolk Food & Drink, says: “There are so many wonderful food and drink businesses, producers and retailers out there. Being a judge is a great opportunity to meet those who excel at what they do.”
Steve Thorpe, judging Outstanding Front of House, sponsored by Broadland Wineries, and is lead judge for the Chef of the Year award. Head of the hotel, hair and beauty school at City College Norwich, Steve is a previous winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award and says: “As a chef I recognise the importance of first class service across all elements of the food and drink experience. The Outstanding Front of House category gives us an opportunity to raise the profile of service as a first choice career opportunity for young people.”
Jason Whittleton, judging the Best Norfolk Producer Award, sponsored by Anglia Farmers.
Jason is the local and fresh food specialist for the East of England Co-op and looks after its 130 Sourced Locally suppliers across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Jason was a previously a craft baker and is looking forward to finding out more about those who have been shortlisted - and maybe discovering his next great find for Sourced Locally.
New this year, two of the categories are open to public vote.
To vote for your favourites from the list of nominees for the Best Restaurant, sponsored by Steele Fine Foods, and for Norfolk’s Best Pub, sponsored by Eastern Daily Press and EDP Norfolk magazine, visit the website at www.norfolkfada.co.uk where you will find the easy to use voting form.
Or send in your votes for these two categories to EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2015, Events Team, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 1RE. Voting closes on Friday, August 14 2015.
The winners will be announced at the gala awards ceremony at the Norfolk Showground on September 14.