Leamington food and drink businesses enjoy an evening of celebration after a tough 18 months

They joined fellow finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards, an event backed by the Courier and Weekly News

Leamington food and drink businesses joined fellow finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards for an evening of celebration ahead of the winners being announced in just a few weeks. Photo by David Fawbert Photography.

Leamington food and drink businesses joined fellow finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards for an evening of celebration ahead of the winners being announced in just a few weeks.

Around 45 finalists from across Coventry and Warwickshire were hosted at the Telegraph Hotel ahead of the winners being announced at an event at The Box at Coventry’s FarGo Village on Thursday, July 22.

The event - backed by the Courier and Weekly News - will be the culmination of a difficult 18 months for the hospitality industry and sees winners from a range of categories celebrated alongside their fellow finalists.

Leamington food and drink businesses joined fellow finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards for an evening of celebration ahead of the winners being announced in just a few weeks. Photo by David Fawbert Photography.

It will come after the winner of the Best Chef/Cook category is judged by celebrity chef Glynn Purnell and his former employer Andreas Antona, owner of The Cross in Kenilworth, in a Masterchef-style cook-off at The Farm in Snitterfied on July 13.

Final judging has also taken place for three special awards that recognise businesses and individuals who went above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic - including a COVID-19 Resilience Award backed by Visit Coventry and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID.

As well as finalists across all categories in the awards, the Finalists’ Night at the Telegraph Hotel was attended by representatives from the Awards’ supporters including Visit Coventry, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), Warwickshire College and Comesto.

The Leamington finalists are:

Leamington food and drink businesses joined fellow finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards for an evening of celebration ahead of the winners being announced in just a few weeks. Photo by David Fawbert Photography.

- Warwick Street Kitchen

- Birtelli’s

- The Dice Box

- Hilltop Farm

Leamington food and drink businesses joined fellow finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards for an evening of celebration ahead of the winners being announced in just a few weeks. Photo by David Fawbert Photography.

- Procaffeinate

- Steamhouse

- Pasta Brothers

- Bramble Dining

Leamington food and drink businesses joined fellow finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards for an evening of celebration ahead of the winners being announced in just a few weeks. Photo by David Fawbert Photography.

- The Drawing Board

- Oscars

Co-organiser of The Foodies, Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: “We first started planning these awards before the word COVID was even a thing so to be so close to seeing their culmination and celebrating the great entries we had in this very first awards programme is an exciting time. It was great getting all the finalists and supporters together and we look forward to another fabulous event in a few weeks.”

Amy Windsor, general manager of the Telegraph Hotel, Coventry, said: “It was a total pleasure to host the finalists for the Foodie Awards and for many of them it was their first experience of the Telegraph Hotel.

“We wish them all the best in the competition – and we will be up against them next year!”

The Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Visit Coventry and Warwickshire County Council, was established to recognise an array of food and drink businesses from producers to chefs, street food traders, restaurants and bars.

Leamington food and drink businesses joined fellow finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards for an evening of celebration ahead of the winners being announced in just a few weeks. Photo by David Fawbert Photography.

Categories include best artisan food and drink producers, best farm shop, best independent food and drink retailer, best newcomer and best street food trader, as well as best food/drink experience.

All the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony unlike any other at The Box at FarGo Village where money will also be raised for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change said: “The culmination of these awards couldn’t come at a better time for the city and wider area, as we start to see some kind of normality returning.

"It’s been a tough time for restaurants and bars, but to be able to celebrate all the great food and drink on offer in Coventry and the surrounding area is a great opportunity and will give the sector even more of a boost.”