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‘A true Norfolk food hero!’ - Local chef Charlie Hodson shortlisted for national Tourism Superstar award

PUBLISHED: 13:57 11 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:07 11 February 2018

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

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

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Charlie Hodson, the Executive Head Chef at The Fur & Feather in Woodbastwick, is in the running for VisitEngland’s 2018 Tourism Superstar award.

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

The Norfolk chef goes up against nine others from across the staycation tourism industry in the unsung hero competition.

Lauding Charlie’s foodie credentials, the judges said: “He combines amazing locally sourced produce, showcasing all that’s available – such as crabs, oils and meats.

“He promotes suppliers via social media and on his demo stages. A true Norfolk food hero!”

Duane Dibartolomeo, owner of the Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich, was crowned VisitEnglands Tourism Superstar in 2017. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYDuane Dibartolomeo, owner of the Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich, was crowned VisitEnglands Tourism Superstar in 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“The more we sing and shout about how amazing individual counties are for produce, farming, heritage and education, the more we share our ideas, the more we grow,” Charlie added.

The Tourism Superstar award, sponsored by Mirror Travel, was set up seven years ago and celebrates those who far exceed the call of duty to ensure visitors have an amazing experience, whether they’re on holiday or calling in for the day.

Last year Duane Dibartolomeo, who runs the Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich’s Lower Goat Lane, won the coveted prize.

You can vote for Charlie here and win a week’s holiday at a luxury cottage or a weekend break to London just for joining in. Voting closes at midnight on March 20.

The other nominees are:

1. Richard Darlington, Shepherd and Farm Guide, Hall Hill Farm, Co Durham

Richard introduced sheep racing to the areas and in 2015 launched Lambing Live, an annual event which live streams the lamb maternity ward at Hall Hill Farm.

2. Katie Davies, Communication Ranger, Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, Dorset

Katie develops and promotes the park’s environmental credentials, raises awareness and educates people of all ages and abilities. She also created the Park’s first audio trail.

3. Stephen Eddy, Education Officer, Exmoor Zoo

Stephen learnt British sign language so that he can give a better experience to some of the zoo’s visitors with disabilities. He goes out of his way to educate, usually taking live exhibits to make his talks more enjoyable.

4. Paul Hull, Owner of For the Love of the North, North Tyneside

Paul and his partner showcase local artists’ work and have opened a business in the heart of Whitley Bay with carefully selected gifts and crafts, all of which come with a raft of knowledge about things to do locally.

5. Jim O’Reilly, Customer Service Advisor, Red Funnel, Isle of Wight

Jim has become known as Jim the Dancing Man and is well-known for cutting shapes as he directs traffic on and off the ferries.

6. Martin Salter, Meeter and Greeter, Jane Austen Centre, Bath

Martin has worked in tourism all his life. He leaves a lasting impression on Bath’s many visitors and people queue to be pictured with him.

7. Alicia Stabler (Mad Alice), Tour Guide and Owner, The Bloody Tour of York

The Bloody Tour of York has been consistently ranked No1 tour in York on TripAdvisor and that’s all thanks to Alicia.

She once broke her leg and was unable to walk but rather than cancel the tours she conducted the tour from a wheelchair.

8. Christo Tofalli, Landlord, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, St Albans

Christo took over the oldest pub in the country in 2012 when it was struggling to attract visitors and has put it back on the map.

9. Sam Watling, Skatepark Manager, Revolution Skatepark, Thanet

Sam is an ambassador for the skateboarding world and parents travel miles to have him teach their children.

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