The city’s annual food and drinks awards launch on Monday 1 May, with 21 categories for the public to nominate on over the summer months.
New categories for 2017 include ‘Chef of the Year’ sponsored by Ridgeview Wine Estate, ‘Best Venue Design’ sponsored by Posture People, and ‘Best Afternoon Tea’ sponsored by Midnight Communications, representing the breadth of the food scene in Brighton & Hove.
“As the leading law firm in Brighton we have been heavily involved in the food and drink industry and have seen the quality and variety go from strength to strength in recent years”, says Jason Edge, marketing director of Mayo Wynne Baxter. “Being involved with these awards puts us at the heart of this exciting industry in Sussex and over the years of our involvement we have seen brilliant developments that have seen the city declared food capital of the UK and seen Sussex producers been used all over the world. We remain very proud to be involved with these awards”.
Independent financial advisor Claire Walsh is a new food awards sponsor. “I love eating and drinking out particularly in in smaller independent places that tend to be more diverse and creative”, she says.“The food awards are a great way to promote and champion the best that Brighton has to offer”.
Public nominations run until 31 August via the food festival website, after which time around 30 judges including festival directors, media partners – including The Argus – and sponsors secret shop and interview the top three finalists in each category to find the winning business or individual. The grand finals will be hosted at Merkaba at My Brighton hotel in early November, with winners announced in The Argus the following day.
“There are several food awards now running in the city and county, which are all great for creating noise about our food and hospitality industries”, says Nick Mosley, festival director. “We believe that the model we’ve used for years now – with public nominations followed by secret shopping by judges – genuinely finds the best of the best by avoiding excessive petitioning by restaurants and also bias from faceless judges. For the public to have faith in an award scheme, the process needs to be as transparent as possible”.