EDP Norfolk Food & Drink Awards 2017: nominations, categories and sponsors

EDP Norfolk Food & Drink Awards 2017

EDP Norfolk Food & Drink Awards 2017 - Credit: Archant

Here is the first of this year's awards - enter your food and drink favourites, or your own business, in one or more categories

The clock is ticking; have you nominated your favourite food and drink stars yet? If not, don’t panic; there is still plenty of time to sing the praises of the best in the business – and you can nominate yourself, of course.

The deadline for nominations is July 9 and once the closing date has been reached the judges will begin the tough task of sifting through the entries and creating their shortlists and, ultimately, the winners.

This month we welcome more sponsors to the event and you can read why they are keen to become involved in the county’s premier food awards on the following pages.

So whether you know a genius chef, are lucky enough to have the best pub in the world on your doorstep, have discovered a notable newcomer, a brilliant butcher, or an amazing afternoon tea shop, or fabulous family diner, take a look at the categories on the www.norfolkfada.co.uk website and make your nominations now.

Your nominations go to a panel of experts and independent judges who search out the nominees who have really made an impact.

The finalists will be announced in late summer and the winners will be revealed at our gala evening in September. It’s time to get involved!

How to enter

All you have to do to enter your favourite - or to nominate yourself - is to visit the website www.norfolkfada.co.uk

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Here you will be able to choose which categories you would like to enter - you can make nominations in one, some or all of the categories.

We have included the criteria (which appears on the pages following here too) so that you can be sure that your nominee has the right credentials to have a chance of being chosen.

You have until July 9, 2017, to get in your entries before nominations close. The judging process will begin shortly afterwards.

And we would love you to be part of the Twitter conversation about the awards, so hashtag any of your tweets #norfolkfada.

Let’s hear it for the best of Norfolk!




Sponsored by Lacons Brewery

Nominees are accepted for fantastic pubs across Norfolk 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 nonalcoholic – plus a sense of character that makes a visit to these pubs enjoyable and memorable.


Sponsored by Gerald Giles

Nominees will be accepted for brilliant restaurants across Norfolk which have the ability to create an unforgettable dining experience, cook to a degree of excellence using fresh, local produce combined with an unsurpassed level of customer service, demonstrating an understanding of diners’ expectations.

This category will be open to public vote, with people able to vote online or by post for the Norfolk restaurant they feel offers “that certain something”.


Sponsored by Makro & Booker Wholesale

Judges will be looking for a restaurant, café or pub which really meets the needs of family dining, by demonstrating attention to the requirements across the generations of diners, both in terms of its food offering, atmosphere and the variety of menu for guests regardless of age.

The award reflects the whole experience, so is aimed at establishments that place a great emphasis on standards of service, both front of house and in food preparation, as well as having that special touch which makes it appeal to the whole family.


Sponsored by Broadland Wineries

Judges will be looking for the level of front of house provision that makes a truly enjoyable visit to the restaurant, hotel, cafe or pub.

Understanding and anticipating customers’ needs, good knowledge of menus, dishes, provenance of ingredients and of drink matching will be expected and a personable approach that complements the establishment and really enhances the visit will be sought.

This category seeks to recognise an often overlooked yet extremely important sector of the hospitality industry, and nominations will be accepted for teams or individuals.


Sponsored by Castlemeadow Care

One of our most delightful traditions is afternoon tea, and this new award is searching for the very best offering in the county.

Judges will be looking for the café, restaurant or hotel that offers an afternoon tea for customers which is a really pleasurable experience that combines a super choice of sandwiches, cakes, scones, tea and more, with a lovely atmosphere, great service and a touch of luxury.


Sponsored by City College Norwich

This prestigious award is open to chefs who are working within the Norfolk 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 and businesses are requested to make nominations; chefs will then be invited to make a formal submission towards a live cook-off in the City College Norwich Hotel School.


Sponsored by Norse

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 Norfolk, although it is not essential that every ingredient is sourced from within the county’s borders.


Sponsored by the EDP Norfolk magazine and Eastern Daily Press newspaper

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.


Sponsored by Easton & Otley College

Judges are looking for individuals or businesses with the ability and vision to produce and market quality food products in this region. These are growers and producers who are passionate about what they do and who have the talent and skill to grow, develop and market an outstanding and commercially scalable food product. They also need to show environmental credentials and demonstrate contribution to the local community.


Sponsored by Zaks

The award is open to any business or individual who has started a food and/or drink venture in the last three years (since January 2014).

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, 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.


Sponsored by Hansells Solicitors and Financial Advisers

This prestigious award, sponsored by Hansells for the fifth consecutive year, is a non-entry category. Judges use a lifetime’s experience and expertise to identify an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Norfolk food industry. The winner will be someone who excels in growing, producing, cooking, serving, selling or educating about food or drink. The judges will hand-pick an individual who sets standards to which others aspire. Past winners include Nick Mills, managing director of Brasted’s; Chris Coubrough, Flying Kiwi celebrity chef; Steve Thorpe, head of Hotel School at City College Norwich; Richard Hughes Lavender House chef/restaurateur.


Sponsored by the EDP Norfolk Magazine

The judges will look for the coffee or tea shop in Norfolk 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 make the cafe or tea shop ‘special’. Judging will involve an unannounced visit to the shortlisted businesses.




East of England Co-op

Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive: “The East of England Co-op has proudly served local communities across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire for over 150 years. Today they have over 230 branches across the region, including food stores, funeral services, pharmacy, optical and travel services, petrol forecourts, stonemasonry and a property division.

“We’re incredibly proud to once again support these awards that celebrate our talented network of restaurants, retailers, chefs and producers who each share a common goal with us, of making great local food, drink and hospitality available to those who live in and visit Norfolk.

“We’ve been celebrating local produce in our stores each day, for a decade, through our own award-winning Sourced Locally initiative, working with over 100 producers to bring thousands of products to our shelves.

“East Anglia as a region is renowned for producing great tasting food and drink, with high quality hospitality to match.

“From cereal crops, fruit and vegetables, to rearing livestock and catching seafood off its iconic coastline, Norfolk is home to some of the best producers in the UK, as well as many dedicated and talented chefs. Combine this with welcoming array of hotels, pubs, restaurants and cafes, you can be sure of a culinary treat, all topped off with great service.

“This is the fourth year that we’ve supported the awards as headline sponsor. We’re always excited to see who has been nominated, from those who have dedicated a lifetime to their trade to new faces taking their first steps into the industry.

“As with every year, what really shines through is people’s genuine pride and passion in what they do and making a positive difference through food and drink.

“From speaking with our own local producers, we know that receiving thanks from their customers is hugely important in giving them the drive and determination to keep doing what they’re doing and gives them the confidence to push forward and grow their businesses.

“As a customer or business, what better way to say thank you for the hardworking, dedicated people working in the background to bring us the produce we enjoy, and provide the service that makes dining out a true experience.”


Makro & Booker Wholesale

Sponsoring Best Family Dining

Andrew Payne, area manager of Booker Wholesale: “At Booker and Makro we service all types of business, large and small, serving all areas of the community in which we live and operate. People and relationships form the main part of our business and this is reflected the same way in family dining, as such we are proud to sponsor this award. Attention to the requirements of the diners along with the variety of the menu on offer, appealing to all of the family.

“What we love about Norfolk is the vast array of independent business, all of whom demonstrate their own unique style, taking advantage of our amazing local produce. We are delighted to be able to support local business every day through our teams in the branches, working closely with the chefs and owners to help them source the very best ingredients.”

Broadland Wineries

Sponsoring Outstanding Front of House

Elise Earl, East Anglian sales executive: “Norfolk is rich with culinary delights and fantastic establishments that offer more than just a good meal and a glass of wine, residents of Nor folk should be proud to be part of a thriving industry that boasts a vast number of outstanding restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars.

“We are extremely lucky to be surrounded by an abundance of choice, an array of superb chefs and true to our agricultural history, an enviable selection of fresh produce. With a history of over 50 years in the Norfolk food and drink industry, we have witnessed many changes to both the customer demand and the cuisine on offer in the county.

“We are especially proud to have been involved in and witnessed some impressive innovations that have made Norfolk ’ s diverse food and drink scene one of the best in the country. It is an honour to be part of an industry that celebrates its competitors ’ successes, shares in its struggles and works together to continuously develop.”

Castlemeadow Care

Sponsoring Best Afternoon Tea

Dr Sanjay Kaushal, owner and managing director: “Norfolk produces a vast selection of food and drink which seems to be ever increasing, this in turn impacts the county through employment, our economy and tourism.

Much of our produce and ingredients are perfect for our sponsored category, Best Afternoon Tea which itself is massively growing in popularity across the region.

“Castlemeadow Care is proud to be a Norfolk-based company; our region boasts beautiful landscapes, stunning coastlines, an array of nationally acclaimed Restaurants and Pubs serving some of the best produce that Norfolk has to offer.”

Hansells Solicitors and Financial Advisers

Outstanding Achievement

Roger Holden, managing partner: “We believe there is no better place in Britain when it comes to growing, rearing, processing, selling and serving food and drink. We have prime agricultural land, the best stock, state-of-the-art production facilities and some superb hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes, delicatessens, bistros and brasseries.

“Those facilities and resources are backed up by a dedicated army of people engaged in making sure Norfolk’s rich heritage is used to optimum advantage. It is an immense, cooperative undertaking. Everybody can justifiably take great pride in being a part of it.

What makes you especially proud to be in Norfolk? Norfolk has a legacy of innovative entrepreneurs, complemented by a workforce with a great ‘ can-do’ attitude.

“It’s a vibrant, healthy, exciting place to live that has a palpable sense of community and belonging. The food and drink industry works with the tourism sector to show the world what a wonderful part of the world this is. We are often reminded that in Norfolk we ‘do different’. Take that as a compliment – we should all be very proud of the unrivalled quality of life we are so fortunate to enjoy.”

City College Norwich

Sponsoring Chef of the Year

Steve Thorpe, assistant principal at City College Norwich: “We are fortunate that across our county we have some greats, including producers, suppliers, eating establishments and, of course, the people behind these.

“This enables us at City College to be able to promote the first class career opportunities to the next generation. The Chef of the Year category is about recognising the skills, knowledge and passion our local chefs have for that wonderful basket of products at their disposal. Having been involved with the food and drink sector for almost 25 years across the county I have seen the way the industry has grown and developed, the way the whole sector work together and have become proud of what we achieve.”

Easton & Otley College

Sponsoring Field to Fork

David Henley, principal of Easton & Otley College: “Easton and Otley College is situated in both Norfolk and Suffolk and teaches around 5,000 students. The college has a collective history of providing education and training going back around 100 years and we continue to stay true to our food and farming roots.

“Within this, we consistently look to develop new courses aimed at supporting the rural economy and have diversified into areas such as construction, higher education and sport in recent years. We are currently in the process of opening a farm shop and we are proud to work in Norfolk and East Anglia.

“We are also proud of the fact that the college is attracting students from new areas of the country such as Cambridgeshire, Essex, Lincolnshire and beyond. To be part of the judging panel and go out and get a feel for some of the technological advancements that are happening in farming and food production right now, supports what we are trying to teach future generations.

“We are very lucky to benefit from some incredible industry support over the years so it feels right that we are able to give something back to our agricultural colleagues by supporting this category. We are also hopeful our support will help shine a light on some of the amazing work that is taking place in this great industry and give it a well-deserved moment in the spotlight.

“It champions one of the many industries we represent and honours those working in food and farming who generally tend to go about their business – quietly and graciously – often without acclaim.

“This event is all about giving some acclaim and hearing the stories of how people set up companies, often at great risk. It’s also about celebrating the success of individuals and businesses living and working in this great county.

In conclusion, the awards are essentially like the Oscars for the food and drink industry – so it’s not so much a question of being keen to be involved, we need to be involved. And we are delighted to be involved.”

Lacons Brewery

Sponsoring Best Pub

Trevor Hourican, director of Lacons Brewery: “Known as the Great Yarmouth Brewer, Lacons Brewery dates back to 1760 and has an incredibly rich heritage. In 2013, Lacons Brewery was revived by a local businessman after its closure in 1968, who went on to recruit an acclaimed head brewer tasked with crafting ales which reflect our proud history.

“You can find our award-winning beers in many local pubs across the county and we also have a local brewery tap in the Norfolk village of Honingham called The Honingham Buck. We’re spoilt in Norfolk to have so many fantastic pubs that offer delicious food and drink and brilliant service to their customers.

“We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the pub industry in this neck of the woods than to support this important category at this year’s EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards. It also allows us to give back to the publicans who have helped breweries like us grow and carry on producing beers that everyone can enjoy.

“It’s amazing what the power of community spirit can achieve. The EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards is something that benefits the local community.

It helps put the fantastic food and drink establishments of Norfolk on the map which is something that we’re very passionate about and actively try to support.

“We work very closely with local broadcaster Mustard TV to film the Great Norfolk Pub Guide, a programme that showcases a number of pubs that offer something special in the area. By being a part of these awards, it will be great to see the local community together celebrating each other.”


Sponsoring Best Newcomer

Kathleen Smith, managing director of Blue Sky Leisure, owners of Zaks: “Zaks started serving its famous chargrilled burgers from the Original Zaks Caravan on Norwich’s Castle Meadow in May, 1976. The brand’s first Norwich restaurant, the iconic Mousehold diner, opened in 1979.

Zaks Waterside opened its doors in 1988, followed by Poringland in 2005 and Thetford ten years later in 2015. We’ve now been serving Norfolk’s favourite burgers for over 40 years!

“Being a new arrival to Norfolk as a student I was amazed (and still am!) at the awesome food and drink available within the county from a wealth of local producers, restauranteurs and fantastic talent. Zaks are very proud to be a part of this industry full of independent businesses that really care about what they do and are passionate about passing on their skills and knowledge to the next generation.

“This category helps recognise and promote that vital new talent and hopefully helps encourage more people to see working in hospitality as a rewarding and fulfilling career. The people of Norfolk love their food and drink and care about its provenance. This is seen by the support they give to local businesses.

“At Zaks we love seeing new opportunities open that are not part of a national chain and we are passionate about discovering and supporting local producers. The EDP Norfolk awards help celebrate and publicise our fantastic industry across the county.”

Norse Catering

Sponsoring Pride of Norfolk Award

Terrance Isaac-Griffiths, commercial director, Norse Commercial Services: “At Norse Catering, our food ethos is, and has always been, for high-quality, local ingredients freshly prepared by happy and well-trained catering teams. Norfolk has an abundance of fantastic fresh produce and we support this in all of our primary and secondary schools, care homes, colleges and staff restaurants.

“We have supported a number of award categories for this great event over recent years and are delighted to be sponsoring the Pride of Norfolk category as it celebrates our great county, our exciting produce and our diverse places to eat.”

Gerald Giles

sponsoring Best restaurant

Paul Giles, managing director of Gerald Giles: “All of the brands that we stock at Gerald Giles offer high quality products, great value for money and innovative designs. We’re proud of the companies we work with and for kitchen appliances it doesn’t get any better than Miele.

Miele knows the kitchen is an important part of any family home. All of its ovens, fridges, dishwashers and other appliances are built to the highest standard and it has worked hard to develop products that will make your space an even better place to be for years to come.

So, whether you’re recreating that all important family recipe, cleaning your favourite crockery or putting a delicate dress through the wash, you can rely on Miele products to give you great results every time.

We’re delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Norfolk’s Best Restaurant Award and wish the best of luck to those restaurants who stand out by offering an unforgettable dining experience, delicious food and understanding their customers.

Pop into our Norwich store on Ber Street to take a look at our extensive range of home appliances, along with a wide choice of home entertainment products from Sony, Samsung and Bose, or visit www.geraldgiles.co.uk to take a look at our product range.”

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