Vote now in the Eat Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2019

Eat Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2018. Photo credit ©Simon Finlay Photography

Eat Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2018. Photo credit ©Simon Finlay Photography - Credit: Simon Finlay Photography

Pay homage to your favourite food and drink businesses in the county.

Entries are now open for the Eat Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2019,headline sponsored by the East of England Co-op. A celebration of all the amazing producers, restaurants, cafes and chefs we are lucky to have in the county, these awards are highly anticipated on the foodie calendar.

Head to the awards website where you can nominate your favourite food businesses until June 9. After this date, our expert judges will be set to work, drafting four finalists for each category, with the winners being announced at a glittering ceremony on Monday, September 9, at Open in Norwich.

The categories are:

Restaurant of the Year

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Sponsored by Gerald Giles

Nominations will be accepted for restaurants across Norfolk which have the ability to create an unforgettable dining experience, cook to a degree of excellence using fresh, local produce combined with a fantastic level of customer service, demonstrating and understanding the diners' expectations. Nominated restaurants will be shortlisted and the final four will be selected following the unannounced visits.

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Chef of the Year

Sponsored by City College Norwich

This award is open to chefs who are working within the Norfolk food and drink industry. Competitors may come from all areas of the hospitality business, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors. Readers and businesses are requested to make nominations; chefs will then be invited to make a formal submission towards a live cook-off in the Hotel School.

Outstanding Front of House

Sponsored by Norwich Accountancy Services

Judges in this category will be looking for the level of front of house provision that makes a truly enjoyable visit to the restaurant, hotel, cafe or pub. Understanding and anticipating customers' needs, good knowledge of menus, dishes, provenance.

Pub of the Year

Sponsored by Foodcare

Nominees are accepted for fantastic pubs across Norfolk which have created a distinct and high quality offering for their customers – both traditional drinking pubs and those that have build a reputation for their restaurant and/or bar menu. Common to all finalists will be great standards of customer service and understanding of their market, technical expertise in sourcing and providing a good range and standard of drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – plus a sense of character that makes a visit to these pubs enjoyable and memorable.

Best Afternoon Tea

Sponsored by Castlemeadow Care

Judges will be looking for the café, restaurant or hotel that offers an afternoon tea for customers which is a really pleasurable experience that combines a super choice of sandwiches, cakes, scones, tea and more, with a lovely atmosphere, great service and a touch of luxury.

Outstanding Achievement Award

Sponsored by Hansells Solicitors & Financial Advisers

This prestigious award sponsored by Hansells for the seventh consecutive year, is a non-entry category. Judges use a lifetime's experience and expertise to identify an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Norfolk food industry. The winner will be someone who excels in growing, producing, cooking, serving, selling or educating about food or drink.

Field to Fork

Sponsored by Easton & Otley College

Judges are looking for individuals or businesses with the ability and vision to produce and market quality food products in this region. These are growers and producers who are passionate about what they do and who have the talent and skill to grow, develop and market an outstanding and commercially scalable food product.

Beer Quality Award

Sponsored by Woodforde's Brewery

A new award for 2019, the Beer Quality Award recognises and promotes the key values and is open to all types of bars, pubs and venues. Among the qualities judges will be looking for are; excellent cellar management and good staff knowledge of the processes involved in receiving, storing, rotating and changing kegs and/or casks, for different beers.

Best Newcomer

The award is open to any business or individual who has started a food and/or drink Venture in the last three years (since January 2016). The judges will be looking for an outstanding early stage business which has already become a success story or shows promise to become one.

Family Dining Award

Judges will be looking for a restaurant, café or pub which really meets the needs of family dining, by demonstrating attention to the requirements across the generations of diners, both in terms of its food offering, atmosphere and the variety of menu for guests regardless of age. The award reflects the whole experience, so is aimed at establishments that place a great emphasis on standards of service, both front of house and in food preparation, as well as having 'that certain something' which makes it appeal to the whole family.

Pride of Norfolk

Judges will be looking for a first class product that demonstrates the manufacturer's flair for creating, developing and delivering a distinctive, successful and respected item, either as a stand-alone or as part of its brand. Manufacture of this will have been in Norfolk, although it is not essential that every ingredient is sourced from within the county's borders.

Best Independent Food and Drink Retailer

Marks will be awarded for clear, well laid-out shops which offer a wide variety of great products, and for staff who demonstrate memorable standards of customer care, product knowledge and service. Judges will be looking for innovation in products and presentation, as well as any added facilities the retailer has to offer.

Best Coffee/Tea Shop

The judges will look for the coffee or tea shop in Norfolk which is able to create an outstanding customer experience – a warm welcome, high quality tea and/or coffee plus a range of other drinks, tasty food made from fresh, local produce, all served with an excellent level of customer service. Judges will be impressed by a relaxed, comfortable ambience, originality, an imaginative menu and aspects make the cafe or tea shop 'special'.

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