MORE than 150 entries have so far been received for the first Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards – with a few days left to enter before the New Year’s Eve deadline.
The new Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Visit Coventry, is a celebration of the best of the region’s food and drink scene as they re-emerge from the pandemic.
Entrants will be showcasing their talents to a panel of judges made up of some of the top names in the industry, including chef Glynn Purnell, alongside his former employer Andreas Antona, owner of The Cross in Kenilworth, and Russell Allen, managing director of Aubrey Allen.
Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell, who regularly appears on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, said: “It’s been a tough year for all of us in hospitality but these awards will help boost local businesses and recognise some of the great talent in the area. I’m looking forward to being involved.”
Also on the judging panel will be Chris Hardy, The Fat Foodie – a multi award-winning influencer and street food expert and fellow Stratford-based influencer Katie Matthews, The Hangry Blonde.
Organiser Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: ‘“Now with over 150 entries across all the award categories the entry level is fantastic. By far the most entries are in the Newcomer category which just shows that the Covid pandemic has inspired so many to follow their dreams and start their own businesses. We too have been inspired by their stories, achievements and commitment to their businesses and communities.
“There is still time to enter so please encourage all those you know to be part of this exciting new awards program.”
Coun Heather Timms, portfolio holder for environment, heritage and culture at Warwickshire County Council, said: “We all know what a difficult year it has been for the Retail and Hospitality Industry so awards like this help to shine a spotlight on the fantastic, innovative and hard-working businesses we have across Warwickshire and beyond.
“These awards complement the newly created ‘Visit Warwickshire’ website as well as the Survive, Sustain & Grow businesses support programme created by the County Council this year to help businesses through the pandemic.
“I would encourage all foodie businesses out there to submit an entry and get involved to help increase visibility and promote their business. Good Luck everyone!”
There are only a few days remaining to enter the inaugural awards, which closes on Thursday December 31. This will be followed by a finalists’ night on January 25 at Coventry’s new Telegraph Hotel and then a grand ceremony in the spring.
Categories for the awards include best artisan food and drink producers, best farm shop, best independent food and drink retailer, best newcomer, best street food trader and best chef or cook of the year, as well as best food/drink experience.
Three special awards will also 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.
The Foodie Awards will be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.
See how to enter or to support the awards, here: https://foodieawards.co.uk