Winners Announced for the Taste of Kent Awards 2018

Posted on Tuesday 13th March, 2018 by

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The winners of Produced in Kent’s Taste of Kent Awards 2018 have been revealed, Thursday 8 March at a glittering black-tie dinner at the Kent Event Centre. Kent’s ultimate food and drink champions have been crowned, from the tastiest food and drink products, best producers, restaurants, pubs and shops.

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent comments: “Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists. They should be thrilled at making it through to the final phase, as the results are always close and the judging is difficult as the standards are so high. The winners have however shone above the competition to be named the tastiest or the best. We were delighted this year to see some new names amongst the finalists including, Barham Village Store, Southborough Butchers, Austen’s, Rockin Robin, Turners Cider, The Buoy & Oyster, The Carriage Restaurant and Hop & Huffkin.  There are also more finalists from the Weald of Kent too. Thousands of people and producers have taken part in the voting from all over the county and beyond. The people of Kent have chosen the flavours, products, produce and venues they have enjoyed the most over the last 12 months. For the winners, these awards are the ultimate accolade from their customers and confirmation of their food and drink excellence.”

Victoria Symons, head of the Food and Drink team at Cripps, said: “As committed supporters of the Kent food and drink industry we are extremely proud to have been the main sponsor of the Taste of Kent Awards for the seventh year running.  As you would expect, the standard of nominations has been exceedingly high and reflective of the rich and diverse range of food and drink businesses we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep.”

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The winners are:

Category: Garden of England Champion Top Fruit, sponsored by BTF Partnership
Winners:
Banfields Farm Horsmonden – Comice Pears
A J Bray & Son Faversham – Jazz apples

Category: Kent Beer of the Year, sponsored by Eurostar
Winner:
Gadds No.3 – Ramsgate Brewery
Runners up:
Goodness Gracious Me IPA – Goody Ales / Reliant Robin – Rockin Robin Brewery

Category: Garden of England Champion – Cherries and Soft Fruit, sponsored by Kent County Agricultural Society
Winners:
Brian Piper, Filmers Farm, Loose, Nr Maidstone – Cherry (Van variety)
J Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm, Rochester Strawberry (Magnum variety)
J Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm, Rochester Raspberry (Tulameen variety)

Category: Kent Cider or Perry of the Year, sponsored by Wilkins Kennedy LLP
Winner:
Elderflower Cider – Turners Cider – Marden
Runners Up:
Kentish Discovery – Kentish Pip – Bekesbourne
Wise Owl Bittersweet Dry Still Cider – Wise Owl Cider – High Halden

Kent Countryside Award sponsored by Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Joint winners:
AC Goatham & Son, Medway
Roundoak & Kings Oak Farm Sutton Valence
Highly Commended: Eckley Farms Staplehurst
A Unique Community Award: Spadework Offham

Category: Kent Wine of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual
Winner:
Bacchus 2016 – Chapel Down – Tenterden
Runners Up:
Ortega 2016 – Biddenden Vineyards – Biddenden
Sparkling White 2013 – The Mount Vineyard – Shoreham (Sevenoaks)

Category: Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Opies
Winner:
Austens of Rochester – Rochester
Runners Up:
Barham Village Store – Barham
Macknade Fine Foods – Faversham

Category: Kent Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Thomson, Snell & Passmore
Winner:
The Buoy & Oyster – Margate
Runners up:
The Carriage Restaurant – Faversham
The Corner House – Canterbury
The Mulberry Tree – Boughton Monchelsea

Category: Kent Butcher Shop of the Year
Winner:
S.W.Doughty – Doddington
Runners Up:
Southborough Butchers – Tunbridge Wells
Stour Valley Game – Chilham

A wide range of products have also been entered for the Kent Food Product Classes Awards, sponsored by Shepherd Neame. These classes are not open to public vote and products are submitted by the businesses to an independent expert panel who then select an overall winner.

Winner Specialist Drinks:
Craft Mead with Kent Golding Hops, Marourde – Mereworth
Highly Commended: Canterbury Gin by Canterbury Brewers and Distillers

Winner Bakery and confectionery:
Stoneground Wheat and Barley Flour, Pure Kent -Staplehurst

Winner Dairy Class:
Pure Whole Milk, Plurenden Manor Farm – High Halden

Winner Prepared food
Habanero Chilli Biltong, North Downs Real Food – Lenham

Winner Ambient
Oak Smoked Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Pure Kent – Staplehurst

Category: Kent Tastiest Juice of the Year, AC Goatham & Son
Winner:
Spiced Kent Apple Juice – Owlets Fruit Juice Lamberhurst
Runners Up:
Apple & Cherry Juice – Chegworth Valley – Harrietsham
Apple Juice – Biddenden Vineyards – Biddenden

Category: Kent Dining Pub or Bistro of the Year, sponsored by University of Kent
Winner:
The Ferry House Inn, Isle of Sheppey
Runners Up:
The George Inn, Molash
The Hop & Huffkin, Sandwich

Category: Kent Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Shopper Anonymous
Winner:
Bessie’s Tea Parlour – Broadstairs
Runners Up:
Sissinghurst Pigs – Sissinghurst
The Chai Stop – Minster, Thanet

Kent Food Product of the Year
Winner:
Craft Mead with Kent Goldings Hops, Marourde –  Mereworth

The Produced in Kent Award was made to William Opie, former Chairman of Produced in Kent and Director for his constant support as a founding member and a true ambassador for Kent food. He has been a champion for the whole independent food sector across Kent and helped Produced in Kent members grow to a combined turnover of £370m per year.

The awards dinner was catered for by Jason Freedman at Curiously Kentish from Birchington and the drinks reception was sponsored by a new sponsor this year, Synecore, Detling.

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