How to enter the Dorset Food & Drink Awards 2021 

Dorset Food & Drink Awards logo

Dorset Food & Drink Awards logo - Credit: Archant

The Dorset Food and Drink Award are back for 2021. Each year, the awards recognise the outstanding achievements of people across Dorset who grow, rear, prepare and cook some of the best food and drink you’ll taste and buy anywhere in the country. Last year,, even though we were able to run our awards, including some amended categories to reflect the delivery, take-away, pop-up and community aspects that the hospitality industry had to adapt to due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to give the winners the usual awards celebration they so richly deserved. Instead, the editor of Dorset Magazine - in face mask with sanatiser to hand – visited them in person to present them with their awards.    

Dorset magazine editor, Helen Stiles

Dorset magazine editor, Helen Stiles - Credit: Stu Lambert

This year we will be hosting a glittering awards dinner for all our finalists on October 4 at Hilton Bournemouth. This celebration will be a chance to recognise and thank Dorset’s inspirational hospitality industry which has worked so hard to adapt and survive with talent, ingenuity and dedication. 

The awards are only possible with the support of our generous sponsors. We thank them all, including our headline sponsor Dorset Food & Drink, sponsor of The Face of Dorset Food & Drink, who have been headline sponsor of these awards since they started in 2015. 

2019 Dorset Food, Drink and Farming Hero winner, Claire and Andy Burnet, of handmade chocolate maker

2019 Dorset Food, Drink and Farming Hero winner, Claire and Andy Burnet, of handmade chocolate maker Chococo, with Katharine Wright, left, from Dorset Food And Drink, award sponsor - Credit: © Thousand Word Media

These are still uncertain times, and the hospitality industry needs our support now more than ever. So, it you know a potential award-winning business you want to nominate for these prestigious awards - or perhaps you run one - why not enter now? It costs nothing to enter, and nominations need to be with us by Sunday July 18 just go to foodawards.dorsetmagazine.co.uk 

Entrepreneur Of The Year winner, Sarah Ali Choudhury of Gourmet Indian Catering, with her dad Rafiqu

Entrepreneur Of The Year winner 2019 Sarah Ali Choudhury of Gourmet Indian Catering, with her dad Rafique, and Nick Gregory, left, of the Dorset Growth Hub, award sponsor - Credit: Andrew Higgins©Thousand Word Media

How to enter these prestigious awards  
Entries for the Dorset Food & Drink Awards can be submitted by both the public and businesses and their customers. Now is your time to support all those producers, farmers, shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes who were there when you needed them most during lockdown.

Visit foodawards.dorsetmagazine.co.uk for all the details you need to enter. The closing date is Sunday July 18, after which our panel of experts will begin judging, with the awards taking place on October 4, 2021. 

Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Hero 2020: Tom Amery

Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Hero 2020: Tom Amery, The Watercress Company, The Wasabi Company & Brace of Butchers/Naked Brace - Credit: Helen Stiles

The Face of Food and Drink 2021 

Sponsored by Dorset Food & Drink 

This non-entry category recognises and individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the county’s food and drink sector. The winner could come from any part of the industry – a grower, producer, cook, restauranteur, retailer, educator or local food and drink champion. The judges will select someone who is an expert in their field, has a proven track record, inspires colleagues, educates and sets standards at which others aim to attain. This award winner is selected by judges using their industry knowledge. 

Pub of the Year 

Sponsored by Country Image 

Most Read

Nominees are accepted for fantastic pubs across Dorset which have created a distinct and high-quality offering for their customers – both traditional drinking pubs and those that have built a reputation for their restaurant and/or bar menu. Common to all finalists will be great standards of customer service and understanding of their market, technical expertise in sourcing and providing a good range and standard of drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – plus a sense of character that makes a visit to these pubs enjoyable and memorable. 

Best Farm Shop 2020: Jurassic Coast Farm Shop, Dorchester 

Best Farm Shop 2020: Jurassic Coast Farm Shop, Dorchester - Credit: Helen Stiles

Cafe, Coffee or Tea Shop of the Year 

Sponsored by Clipper Teas  

The judges will look for a café, coffee or teashop in Dorset which is able to create an outstanding customer experience – a warm welcome, high quality tea and/or coffee plus a range of other drinks, tasty food made from fresh, local produce, all served with an excellent level of customer service. Judges will be impressed by a relaxed, comfortable ambience, originality, an imaginative menu and aspects which make the café or tea shop special. 

Business Collaboration Award 2020: Bacchus & Asparagus (Furleigh Estate & Bothen Hill)

Business Collaboration Award 2020: Bacchus & Asparagus (Furleigh Estate & Bothen Hill) - Credit: Helen Stiles

Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year 

Sponsored by Furleigh Estate 

Nominees will be accepted for exceptional restaurants across Dorset which have the ability to create an unforgettable dining experience, cooked to a degree of excellence using fresh, local produce combined with an unsurpassed level of customer service, demonstrating and understanding the diners’ expectations. Judges will be looking for a fine-dining restaurant that has impeccable levels of customer satisfaction and menus which inspire and take diners on a taste sensational journey 

Best Product or Producer 

Sponsored by Saffery Champness LLP 

This award recognises the fantastic food and drink products being created within the county. Judges will be looking for a first-class product that demonstrates the manufacturer’s flair for creating, developing, and delivering a distinctive, successful and respected item, either as a stand-alone or as part of its brand. Manufacture of this will have been in Dorset, although it is not essential that every ingredient is sourced from within the county’s borders. 

Chef of the Year 2020: Eric Tavernier, Les Enfants Terribles, Weymouth 

Chef of the Year 2020: Eric Tavernier, Les Enfants Terribles, Weymouth - Credit: Helen Stiles

Chef of the Year  

Sponsored by Whitepepper Chef Academy 

This prestigious award is open to chefs who are currently working within the Dorset food and drink industry. Competitors may come from all areas of the hospitality business, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors. This will recognise the close link of fine food with using the best of local produce. Readers, businesses and chefs are able to nominate in this category. We will then contact all chefs to submit a formal entry with the hope of reaching a live cook-off. 

Casual Restaurant of the Year 

Sponsored by Harts of Stur 

Nominees will be accepted for casual restaurants across Dorset which have the ability to create a relaxed and inclusive dining experience. The menu will be varied, using local fresh produce and be served with an excellent level of customer service. 

Entrepreneur of the Year 2020: Ginger Viking, Blandford Forum

Entrepreneur of the Year 2020: Ginger Viking, Blandford Forum - Credit: Helen Stiles

Outstanding Front of House 

Sponsored by Creo Cabinet Makers  

Judges in this category will be looking for the level of front of house provision that makes a truly enjoyable visit to the restaurant, hotel, café or pub. Understanding and anticipating customers’ needs, good knowledge of menus, dishes, provenance of ingredients and drink matching will be expected as well as a personable approach that complements the establishment and really enhances the visit. This category seeks to recognise an often overlooked yet extremely important sector of the hospitality industry, and nominations should be for teams/organisations but can also name specific individuals within that. 

Best Independent Food & Drink Retailer 2020: Fruit n Two Veg, Beaminster 

Best Independent Food & Drink Retailer 2020: Fruit n Two Veg, Beaminster - Credit: Helen Stiles

Best Retaile

Sponsored by NFU Mutual Wessex 

This award recognises retailers who combine vision, a passion for high quality products and freshness of local produce. Marks will be awarded for clear, well laid-out shops which offer a wide variety of great products, and for staff who demonstrate memorable standards of customer care, product knowledge and service. Judges will be looking for innovation in products and presentation, as well as any added facilities the retailer has to offer. This category is open to farm shops, markets and retailers. 

Best Local Food/Drink Delivery Experience 2020: DarkBear, Bridport 

Best Local Food/Drink Delivery Experience 2020: DarkBear, Bridport - Credit: Helen Stiles

Food and Drink Innovation 

Sponsored by Chococo 

This award is looking for a pioneer product, service, community, business or person within the food and drink industry. The winner of this award will use data, marketing and creative solutions effectively to deliver a food or drink product or service within Dorset. 

Food Producer of the Year 2020: The Book & Bucket Cheese Company, Cranborne

Food Producer of the Year 2020: The Book & Bucket Cheese Company, Cranborne - Credit: Helen Stiles

Best Newcomer 

Sponsored by Cheddington Weddings  

The award is open to any business or individual who has started a food and/or drink venture in the last three years. The judges will be looking for an outstanding early-stage business which has already become a success story or shows promise to become one. The winner will be a company which is able to demonstrate a pioneering approach, strong performance over the past year, as well as the potential to flourish and be sustainable. Among the qualities the judges will be looking for are a dedicated effort to drive the business forward, potential and vision. 

DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS  IS SUNDAY JULY 18, 2021 




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