The Taste of Kent Awards 2021 are officially open for public voting.

The awards are facilitated by Produced in Kent, Kent’s membership organisation for the local independent food and drink industry, representing over 300 growers, producers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, pubs, restaurants and other food-serving hospitality outlets.

The Taste of Kent Awards are open to ANY food and drink business located in Kent, and have been running for over 17 years – making them the longest running, and most prestigious food & drink awards in the South East. They are an important tool for the industry, giving businesses an opportunity to shout about their business and interact with the general public by encouraging them to vote for their favourite foods and establishments.

The 2020 Taste of Kent Awards dinner was possibly the last major event held in the county before the first lockdown took effect. Since then, the local independent food and drink industry has gone above and beyond in its response to these unprecedented times. We wish to formally recognise all the hard work, dedication and professionalism during the Covid-19 pandemic in our 2021 TOKA ceremony, whilst not deviating too far from our usual concept. TOKA is ultimately about recognising outstanding food and drink and promoting amazing businesses.

The 2021 Awards are sponsored by Southern Co-op, NFU Mutual and Southeastern

The public can now nominate and vote for the local food and drink heroes and products they would like to see recognised.

The public has until midnight 28 February 2021 to cast its vote and in doing so will be helping local businesses to receive the support and recognition they deserve.

The voting process has never been easier: simply click on the category that you would like to vote in and cast your vote. If you cannot see the name of the business you would like to support, simply add them in and vote. The sooner you add them to the list, the more people will see them as well, so voting early is important. This is a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to our very hard-working food and drink producers, retailers, restaurants, pubs, cafes and bistros in the county.

Hundreds of businesses make it into the voting list each year, with the most popular in each category making it through to the final round of tasting, mystery shopping, mystery dining and expert judging panels.

Floortje Hoette, CE Produced in Kent: “Last year has shown that our Kent food and drink industry does not just grow, produce, sell and serve the highest quality food, but that the businesses themselves are highly resilient, versatile, eager to be sustainable and incredibly community-focused. The local independent food and drink sector kept Kent fed and watered, reached out to the vulnerable and worked incredibly hard in the most challenging trading environment since the second World War. 2021 will throw new challenges our way, but I am confident that the sector will pull through and be a driving force for innovation and a green recovery in the County.’