The finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards have been unveiled.
The new Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Visit Coventry and backed by the Courier and Weekly News, is a celebration of the best of the region’s food and drink scene as they re-emerge from the pandemic year.
More than 40 food and drink businesses across the region will now come under the scrutiny of a panel of judges made up of some of the top names in the industry, including chef Glynn Purnell, appearing alongside his former employer Andreas Antona, owner of The Cross in Kenilworth, and Russell Allen, managing director of Aubrey Allen.
Also on the judging panel will be food blogger Chris Hardy AKA ‘The Fat Foodie.’
All the finalists are now invited to a finalists and supporters event in Coventry on July 22, which will also act as a curtain-raiser to the return of Coventry BID Food Festival weekend.
Kicking off on Friday July 23, the festival is aiming to host the largest selection of artisan food producers in the region and will be headlined by Michelin Star chef Theo Randall and Lesley Waters, who is well known for her cookery books, and television appearances on Ready Steady Cook (BBC), Great Food Live (UKTV), and This Morning (ITV).
Main Foodies organiser Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: "After the year we have all had, and especially for those across the food, drink and hospitality industry, I am so inspired by the positivity in the responses received from all those being told their business had been selected as a finalist in the inaugural Foodie Awards for Coventry and Warwickshire.
“Selecting the finalists in each category from the 200 entries received was a tough challenge and now the really hard work of deciding the category winners is left to our fantastic independent judges.”
He added: “To learn of the sacrifices made, the plans disrupted and changes everyone has had to make to their businesses is inspiring and I'm delighted to be part of the Foodie Awards and this recognition program that encourages everyone that their efforts were worth it."
The finalists are:
Best Artisan Drink Producer
Dhillons Brewery, Coventry
Cotswolds Distillery, Stourton
Pinnock Distillery, Kineton
Welcombe Hills Vineyard, Stratford
Best Artisan Food Producer
Price’s Spices, Leamington
Miss Ellie’s of Coventry
Bluebells Cottage Fudge & Nougat, Stratford
Best Café/Coffee Shop
Warwick Street Kitchen, Leamington
Bean and Leaf, Coventry
Jack’s Shack, Warwick
Chef/Cook of the Year
George Cambridge, of Warwick Street Kitchen, Leamington
Jay Alan, of Tumeric Gold, Coventry
Baabzi Miah, of Baabzi Indian Takeaway, Warwick
Tony Davis, of Gourmet Food Kitchen, Coventry
Tobias Reutt, of Earlsdon Supper Club
Best Food/Drink Experience
The Dice Box, Leamington
Coombe Abbey, Coventry
Gourmet Food Kitchen, Coventry
Bread For Life, Warwick
Earlsdon Supper Club, Coventry
Best Farm Shop
The Farm, Stratford
Hilltop Farm, Leamington
Farmers Fayre, Stoneleigh
Best Independent Business
Proof Bakery, Coventry
The Steamhouse, Leamington and Redditch
Pasta Brothers, Bishops Tachbrook
Meon Pizza, Meon Vale
Bramble Dining, Leamington
Mor Bakery, Stratford
Green Dragon, Coventry
Pub or Bar of the Year
Dhillons Brewery, Coventry
The Drawing Board, Leamington
The Yard, Coventry
The Virgins and Castle, Kenilworth
Restaurant of the Year
Tumeric Gold, Coventry
Oscars French Steakhouse and Bistro, Leamington
Harringtons on the Hill, Kenilworth
Tasca Dali, Warwick
Street Food Trader of the Year
Bad Boys Burgers
Full of Chaat
Salt and Pepper’s
Stripclub Street Food
There is still time to enter the three remaining special awards which will also
recognise businesses and individuals who went above and beyond during the
Coronavirus pandemic - the COVID-19 Resilience Award backed by Visit Coventry; Food Champion Award, sponsored by The Leamington Courier and The Rugby Advertiser, and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID.
Judging the Covid Resilience Award will be entrepreneur, investor and speaker John Stapleton who established and grew consumer-led businesses in the UK and USA. He now provides advice and mentorship to growing businesses.
Nominations deadline for these is Wednesday, March 31. For more information on the awards – or to enter the remaining three categories, visit: https://foodieawards.co.ukThe Foodie Awards will also be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Trish Willetts, Coventry BID director, said: “I was delighted to help shortlist the finalists for the inaugural Foodie Awards. There was an incredible calibre of entries, so I don’t envy the judges having to make the final decisions. This will be a wonderful event, celebrating the best of the foodie scene across Coventry and Warwickshire, and I’m very much looking forward to raising a glass to them all on July 22!”
She added: “We are aiming to bring some additional joy and celebration into the city centre across the Food Festival weekend, with stalls across Broadgate, demonstrations from our amazing celebrity chefs – Theo and Lesley – and some fantastic live music.”