Meet the judges and finalists for the 2014 Food and Drink Awards

The winners of the EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2013 at the Norfolk Showground.

The winners of the EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2013 at the Norfolk Showground. - Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography

You nominated them, our judges selected them and now we can introduce the finalists for this year's EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards in association with the East of England Co-Op. The winners will be announced at the gala awards ceremony at the Norfolk Showground on September 15.

It's a tough job...who wouldn't love the opportunity to search out the very best of this year's food and drink for the EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2014, in association with the East of England Co-Op.

• Norwich Food and Drink Festival dates to get your teeth into

Meet our judges:

Tristram Abbs

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Tris is an outside caterer and self-taught chef with Julie Abbs Catering, the family-run business based at East Lexham, and strives for perfection in his food and events. Tris says his culinary upbringing sparked his passion for local, sustainable and seasonal food, keeping him on the lookout for fresh, new ideas, and he is often to be found scouring the Norfolk countryside for culinary delights and inspiration.

Tris judged the Best Restaurant category, with sponsor Swank Interiors.

David Adlard

David is one of the most knowledgeable voices in the county's food industry. He has been a restaurant reviewer for EDP Norfolk magazine for many years, with his work winning the Glennfiddich Food Award. David was the chef proprietor of Adlard's Restaurant in Norwich and was the first chef in East Anglia to be given a Michelin star. He now runs Adlard's in the Country, a fine dining bed and breakfast at Somerton.

David judged the Best Pub category, with sponsor Prosper Recruitment.

Sally Church

Sally joined the judging panel last year, bringing with her some 30 years' experience in teaching food and catering in Norfolk through schools, cookery clubs and courses for children. She has her own food training business, mentors trainee food teachers and continues to have a true passion and flair for inspiring young people to learn about food.

Sally judged the Best School Food Project, with sponsor, the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Sarah De Chair

Sarah has spent 37 years organising events culminating in 12 years as show manager at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. She served on the steering committee of the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival for several years and after retiring in 2012 was made chairman of the board, a role she loves as she is passionate about Norfolk and all it produces.

Sarah judged the Plough to Plate Champion category, with sponsor Easton and Otley College.

Richard Hughes

Richard is chef proprietor of the Lavender House in Brundall, and the Richard Hughes Cookery School, the country's top cookery school last year. He is also director at The Assembly House in Norwich. With 37 years of cooking in Norfolk, no-one can doubt the impact Richard has had on the county's food scene, including through his patronage of the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival.

Richard judged the Outstanding Achievement Award, with sponsor Hansells Solicitors and Financial Advisers.

Mary Kemp

Mary's love of Norfolk produce and the people behind it shines through all her work. Mary has a knack of finding the best ingredients in the county, knowing the perfect recipe to create with them, and sharing her enthusiasm through her monthly column in EDP Norfolk magazine, her cookery theatres across East Anglia, including the Royal Norfolk Show, and her cookery school in her farmhouse kitchen at East Harling. Mary was a very worthy winner last year of the Norfolk Food and Drink Hero category in the EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards.

Mary judged The Pride of Norfolk category, with sponsor Bernard Matthews.

Tim Kinnaird

Tim is a pastry chef and owner of Macarons & More, which he set up after reaching the finals of MasterChef 2010. Tim trained as a doctor, working as a consultant paediatrician in Norfolk. Following MasterChef he left his medical career behind and moved into a full-time career in food. His successful and award-winning business sells his famous macarons in Norwich's Royal Arcade and online. Tim's first book Perfecting Patisserie was published last year, and his second, Marshmallows, was published in June.

Tim judged the Beautiful Baking category, with sponsor, Norse.

Steve Thorpe

Steve was a popular recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award at last year's EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards, something he has supported for many years. As head of the hotel, hair and beauty school at City College Norwich, Steve – who had a previous career as an Army chef for 19 years and is an ex-serviceman – has set more than 10,000 students on their way in the food and hospitality industry over the past two decades.

Steve judged Chef of the Year, sponsored by City College Norwich, with the support of Eastern Daily Press feature writer Stacia Briggs and a panel of food tasters. He also judged the Outstanding Front of House category, with sponsor Broadland Wineries.

Kevin Warden

Kevin is local and fresh food product manager for the East of England Co-Op. He started his career with Dairy Crest and joined the Co-Op Dairy in 2003. His job entails sourcing locally grown and produced food for the East of England Co-Op stores in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, and he has on his books 140 suppliers with more than 2,400 products. Since the local sourcing initiative began in 2007 it has ploughed £25m back into the local economy.

Kevin judged the Best Independent Food and Drink Retailer, with Angi Kennedy, editor of the EDP Norfolk magazine which jointly sponsored this category with the Eastern Daily Press.

• Be part of the excitement and join us for the gala awards night on Monday, September 15. Tickets for this very special event, one of the highlights of the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival that is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, are £55 plus vat, available to book via email to

• Full coverage of the awards will be in the EDP on September 16 and you can follow the event live on @EDP24 #norfolkfada