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Norfolk chef stunned by nomination for national Tourism Superstar award

PUBLISHED: 14:56 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:08 12 February 2018

Charlie Hodson with his team, from left, Julie Freeman, Victoria Paice, and Tom Giles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Charlie Hodson with his team, from left, Julie Freeman, Victoria Paice, and Tom Giles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A Norfolk chef has been “blown away” by the public’s support after being nominated for a nationwide tourism award.

Charlie Hodson is the Executive Chef at the Fur & Feather at Woodbastwick. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCharlie Hodson is the Executive Chef at the Fur & Feather at Woodbastwick. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Charlie Hodson, executive chef of The Fur and Feather in Woodbastwick, is in line to become the third Norfolk-based winner of VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar competition since 2014.

The experienced chef, who gained two AA Rosettes whilst at The Grove in Cromer, will face off against nine other hopeful nominees from across the UK in a public vote.

The vote will decide the successor to Duane Dibartolomeo, who won the award last year while running Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich’s Lower Goat Lane.

Mr Hodson said: “I am totally honoured and blown away by the nomination and the support from people.

“It is a major thing to be nominated and it’s amazing for Norfolk and for Woodforde’s to get into the top 10, no matter if we win or not.”

Born in France but raised and educated near Dereham, Mr Hodson is a well-known online advocate of his adopted county on his Twitter account, @charlieboychef, which has more than 7,000 followers.

He said: “The tweets haven’t stopped, the show of support has just been relentless.

“I think it proves how amazing our county is, I’m getting tweets from people all over the country, from Cumbria, Dorset and Scotland, as well as people who are coming from Norwich.”

He added: “The great thing about this award is it brings awareness that the high street is dying and it encompasses everything about me as a person and us as a business.

“I like to be thought of as the voice of people that can’t be heard; the small local producer that makes their own chutney or the small local butcher.

“It’s an amazing accolade to get this far and hopefully an honest voice for Norwich, Norfolk and the people involved in tourism within.”

Full of praise for Mr Hodson’s abilities and social media promotions, the award judges said: “He combines amazing locally-sourced produce, showcasing all that’s available - such as crabs, oils and meats.”

Voting opened on February 10 and will close at midnight on March 20, with the winner announced at the close of English Tourism Week on March 25.

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