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The finalists for the Taste of Kent Awards 2014 are announced today after a thrilling vote that saw nearly 500 of Kent’s food and drink heroes from across the county nominated by thousands of members of the public. From Biddenden to Broadstairs and from Faversham to Folkestone, the people of Kent have chosen the tastes, flavours, products, produce and venues that they have enjoyed the most over the last 12 months.

 The finalists in each category are:

Best Kent Juice Producer, sponsored by Kent County Council

Biddenden Farm Pressed Apple Juice, Biddenden

Little Stour Orchard, Margate

Newlands Juices, Faversham

Best Kentish Beer, sponsored by Rix & Kay

Goody Ales – Genesis, Herne

Old Forge Brewery – Farriers 1606, The Farriers Arms, Mersham

Ramsgate Brewery – Gadds No 3, Ramsgate

 Best Kentish Cider or Perry, sponsored by Wilkins Kennedy FKC

Biddenden Vineyard – Strong Kentish Cider, Biddenden

Little Stour Orchard – 10 Acre Orchard Cider, Margate

Pine Trees Farm – Duddas Tun Cider, Doddington

Best Kentish Wine, sponsored by Investaco

Biddenden Vineyard – Ortega 2012, Biddenden

Chapel Down – Bacchus, Tenterden

Chapeldown – English Rose, Tenterden

 Kent Artisan Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Shopper Anonymous

Kent Fine Foods, Gillingham

Samovar, Nonington, Dover

Simply Ice Cream, Ashford

 Kent Butcher or Meat Producer of the Year, sponsored by SFF

A.J.Barkaway, Faversham

Chandler & Dunn, Ash, Canterbury

Court Farm, Halling

 Kent Dining Pub of the Year, sponsored by Opies

The Ferry House Inn, Isle of Sheppey

The George Inn, Molash

The Three Tuns, Lower Halstow

 Kent Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Hadlow College

Cliftonville Farmers Market

Rochester Farmers Market

Tonbridge Farmers Market

 Kent Fishmonger of the Year, sponsored by Chapman’s of Sevenoaks Ltd

Mobile Fresh Fish & Farm Shop, Rainham

Fruits De Mer, Broadstairs

Folkestone Trawlers, Folkestone

Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual

Macknade Fine Foods, Faversham

Quex Barn, Birchington

Whitstable Produce Store, Whitstable

 Kent Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Henkelman UK Ltd

The Ambrette, Margate

Rocksalt, Folkestone

Wyatt & Jones, Broadstairs

 

It is also farmers and growers who are recognised by the Taste of Kent Awards for the taste of their produce and for those who work in preserving Kent’s unique rural landscape.

Other awards presented at the awards dinner will include:

Garden of England Champion Top Fruit, sponsored by BTF Partnership

Garden of England Champion Cherry and soft fruit, sponsored by EMR

Kent Food, Farming and Landscape Award, sponsored by Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Kent Food Product Category Awards, sponsored by Shepherd Neame

Best Kent Food Product, sponsored by KFF

Stephanie Durling of Produced in Kent comments: “Thousands of people once again took part in the voting this year and in this our tenth year, we are delighted that nearly 500 local businesses across the county were nominated for the awards. Some categories in particular such as Best Kentish Beer, Kent Butcher or Meat Producer, Kent Restaurant of the Year and Kent Local Food Retailer have seen a significant increase in votes and nominations.”

“There is an exciting battle for the crown of Kent’s Restaurant of the year this year with three of Kent’s coastal restaurants nominated.”

“There are a number of businesses new to the list of finalists this year including: Newlands Juices, Goody Ales, Samovar, Chandler & Dunn, The Ferry House Inn, The Three Tuns, Rochester Farmers Market, Fruits De Mer, Folkestone Trawlers, Whitstable Produce Store, Rocksalt and Wyatt & Jones.”

“Last years winners who are once again in this year’s top 3 include: Little Stour Orchards’ Juice, Gadds No 3, Biddenden Ortega, The George Inn, Quex Barn, The Ambrette.”

Stephanie Durling concludes: “The final winners will be revealed at a black tie awards dinner on 13 March 2014 at the Kent County Show Ground, which will be catered for by Jason Freedman of The Minnis Bar and Restaurant. For the winners, the awards are the ultimate stamp of approval from their customers and confirmation of their food and drink excellence.”

Tickets are available from Produced in Kent and full details of the awards dinner and the menu are available on the website www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk

The three finalists from each of the categories will now be further evaluated by mystery shoppers, diners and expert judging panels to find Kent’s ultimate ‘food and drink heroes’.

The awards are sponsored by Vertex Law, part of Cripps Harries Hall LLP. Pete Kenyon, a partner of the firm, says: “Kent is well known for the excellence of its food and drink and the Taste of Kent Awards are a great way to celebrate the skill and passion of those involved in the industry. This is the third year that Vertex Law has been the headline sponsor and as a business that is committed both to Kent and its food and drink industry, we are delighted to be involved again.”

This year’s awards are run with sponsorship from Biddenden Vineyards, BTF Partnership, Chapel Down Winery, Chapmans of Sevenoaks, EMR (East Malling Research), Hadlow College, Henkleman UK Ltd, Investaco, Kent Downs and High Weald AONB, KCC (Kent County Council), kff (Kent Frozen Foods), NFU Mutual, Opies, Rix and Kay, Shopper Anonymous, Shepherd Neame, sff (Stephen’s Fresh Foods), Vertex Law, part of Cripps Harries Hall LLP, and Wilkins Kennedy.

 

To see the full list of top 3’s, click here.