Sussex Food & Drink Awards Winners Celebrated in British Food Fortnight
As British Food Fortnight commences, 200 leading local food and drink businesses came together to celebrate the winners of Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2021 and the recovery of the industry, at the Sussex Food & Drink Business Revival in Borde Hill Gardens, Mid Sussex on 22 September, with support from Visit Britain.
“The Covid pandemic has made the past eighteen months one of the toughest times in living history for food and drink businesses in Britain,” said Paula Seager, co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC who runs the Sussex Food & Drink Awards with Hilary Knight.
“When pubs, cafes and restaurants were forced to close, they lost their business and at the same time, food and drink producers that sell their produce to them lost their customers over night, but Sussex businesses rose to the challenge with creativity and generosity of spirit. So many came up with ingenious ideas to keep their staff employed, to support the vulnerable in their local communities and to find new ways to get their products and services to market.
“Now as recovery comes slowly forward and business returns to a new normality, we urge people to use British Food Fortnight as an excuse to visit your local farm shop and try out wines, beers, cheeses, meat, baked goods, confectionary and all the other delicious food and drink that is made, reared and caught right here in Sussex and the South Downs. Visit your local independent bakeries, butchers, delis, restaurants, cafes and pubs, ask for something that is made locally and enjoy the real taste of Sussex.”
Highlighted East Sussex businesses at this years awards include:
• Lewes Farmers Market, East Sussex – WINNER – Sussex Farmers Market of the Year
• Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling Common, East Sussex – Nominee – Sussex Drink Producer of the Year
• Pizza Leonati, Ninfield, East Sussex – Nominee – Sussex Street Food of the Year
• The BBQ Project, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex – Nominee – Sussex Street Food of the Year
• Long Man Brewery, Litlington, East Sussex – WINNER – Sussex Drink Producer of the Year
• Nick The Butcher, Hartfield, East Sussex – Nominee – Sussex Butcher of the Year
• Skylark Cafe Restaurant, Eastbourne, East Sussex – Nominee – Sussex Newcomer of the Year
• Veasey & Sons Fishmongers, Forest Row, East Sussex – Nominee – Sussex Food Shop of the Year
• Tablehurst Farm, Forest Row, East Sussex – WINNER – Sussex Butcher of the Year
Guest speaker and awards sponsor, Ben Milford, director of R.P. Meats and Blakes Foods based in Brighton said:
We’ve seen so many Sussex food and drink companies coming up with incredibly creative new activities to keep the wolf from the door and stay in business over the last two years.”
Allison Ferns, from BBC Sussex, compered the event and led the cheers for the winners of the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2021, who have been unable to enjoy their accolade at an awards banquet for the first time in the prestigious awards’ 15-year history.
Before reading out the names of the winners, who posed for photographs with their trophies, she said:
“It’s British Food Fortnight, so it is fitting that today is all about kickstarting our amazing local food and drink industry after such a grim couple of years. And seriously, after Brexit and Covid, people in Britain need you more than ever; to keep on creating delicious local food and drink, and to bring us a little cheer in what can be grim times.”