Vote for the best of Norfolk’s food and drink

This is your chance to let your foodie favourites taste success in the EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Aw

This is your chance to let your foodie favourites taste success in the EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2016, in association with the East of England Co-op. - Credit: Angela Sharpe

Let's celebrate the best of the county's food and drink with the launch of this year's EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards, in association with the East of England Co-op.

Show your support for the great food and drink heroes of Norfolk. From great chefs to fabulous produce, from inspiring work in schools and on the land to brilliant pubs and restaurants, this is your chance to let your foodie favourites taste success in the EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2016, in association with the East of England Co-op.

This is the time when you - readers of the Eastern Daily Press and its sister publication EDP Norfolk magazine – can tell us who you think should win this year's prestigious awards.

It is also the perfect opportunity for those working in the county's food, drink and hospitality industries to sing their own praises. If you are proud of what your business has achieved in the past year and think it deserves to be recognised, now is the time to stand up and be counted. We welcome self-nominations, so make sure you, your business and your talented staff don't miss out on the chance to walk away with one of the highly-prized awards.

Each category is sponsored by a respected business that supports this important sector of Norfolk's economy. Nominations go to our special panel of experts and independent judges who search out the nominees who have really made an impact. Following the huge public response last year, we will again have two categories for public vote - Norfolk's Best Restaurant and Norfolk's Best Pub.


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The finalists will be announced in late summer, and invited to a gala awards ceremony in September when this year's winners will be revealed.

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THE CATEGORIES

• Norfolk's Best Pub

(EDP and EDP Norfolk magazine readers' choice)

Sponsored by Makro & Booker Wholesale

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 built 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. This category will be decided by a public vote, with people able to vote online or by post.

• Norfolk's Best Restaurant

(EDP and EDP Norfolk magazine readers' choice)

Sponsored by Makro & Booker Wholesale

Nominees will be accepted for brilliant 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 an unsurpassed level of customer service, demonstrating an understanding of the diners' expectations. This category will open to public vote, with people able to vote online or by post for the Norfolk restaurant they feel offers 'that certain something'.

• Best Family Dining

Sponsored by Makro & Booker Wholesale

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, 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 special touch which makes it appeal to the whole family.

• Outstanding Front of House

Sponsored by Broadland Wineries

Judges 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 of ingredients and of drink matching will be expected and a personable approach that complements the establishment and really enhances the visit will be sought. This category seeks to recognise an often overlooked yet extremely important sector of the hospitality industry, and nominations will be accepted for teams or individuals.

• Best Afternoon Tea

Sponsored by Castlemeadow Care

One of our most delightful traditions is afternoon tea, and this new award is searching for the very best offering in the county. 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.

• Made in Norfolk Award

Sponsored by Kettle Foods

This award recognises the fantastic food and drink products being created within the county. 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 School Food Project

Sponsored by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association

This award showcases the best in food education, provision and innovation across the county's schools. Nominations will be accepted for whole school or individual class projects encouraging interest and involvement in growing and using produce, and school-based food schemes that have involved the wider community. It will also consider nominations of outstanding teaching and support staff, partnerships, pupils and school volunteers who have demonstrated a commitment to developing an understanding of food production, preparation and cookery.

• Chef of the Year

Sponsored by City College Norwich

This prestigious 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. This will recognise the close link of fine food with using the best of local produce. 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 City College Norwich Hotel School.

• Best Independent Food and Drink Retailer

Sponsored by EDP Norfolk magazine and the Eastern Daily Press

This award recognises retailers who combine vision, a passion for high quality products and freshness of local produce. 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.

• Outstanding Achievement Award

Sponsored by Hansells Solicitors and Financial Advisers

This prestigious award 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. The judges will hand-pick an individual who sets standards to which others aspire.

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