The Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards are returning for 2024. This spectacular night of eating, meeting and making friends is our chance to honour the hospitality industry. Each month, in the magazine we champion the region’s food and drink producers and venues – large and small, rural and urban, emerging and established.

The reintroduction of the prestigious and coveted event, held at Carden Park, in 2023 saw the best of the best rewarded for their innovative, tireless, delicious work with all having one thing in common – they are changing the industry for the better.

This year’s event, again being held at Carden Park, will take place on Monday, July 22nd and promises to be even bigger and better. The evening, a true celebration of the region’s hospitality industry, will be hosted by author, journalist and Cheshire Life columnist Suzan Holder, with the top team at Carden Park serving dinner with wine and a pre-dinner reception with their own Carden English Estate sparkling wine.

Cheshire Life editor Joanne Goodwin said: 'The hospitality and food and drink industry looks after us in good times and bad, helping create memories of special times with people we care about.

‘We have created these awards to recognise exceptional individuals and businesses. They are a mark of how highly each recipient is valued and a symbol of their outstanding contribution to the county. From tea shops to pubs, independent retailers to high-end restaurants, farm shops to foodie events, this is the chance for Cheshire Life and everyone who loves going out, or eating in, to honour those who serve us so well.

'It's a sector that is facing multiple challenges despite the exceptional work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit that feeds it and, while there have been exciting openings in the past year, there have been businesses that have closed or are facing difficult decisions about the future, largely because of the cost-of-living crisis.

'The 2023 celebration was a memorable night for everyone who joined us at Carden Park and this year is a treat to look forward to. Please help us champion the food and drink and hospitality industry in our circulation area by casting your votes. These awards mean a great deal to all the finalists.'

Headline sponsors for the awards are Touched Interiors, a business renowned for creating the finest luxury interiors across the globe, whilst delivering exceptional customer service. Kunal Trehan, founder and director, says: ‘We believe that there are truly no boundaries when it comes to creating dream spaces using only the best materials and craftsmanship.

Great British Life: Elite Bistros founder Gary Usher was named our Food Hero of the Year in 2023. Photo: Kirsty ThompsonElite Bistros founder Gary Usher was named our Food Hero of the Year in 2023. Photo: Kirsty Thompson

This partnership serves as a testament to our dedication to luxury, sophistication, and the pursuit of beauty in various forms.

‘By sponsoring these awards, Touched Interiors not only demonstrates its commitment to the region but also recognizes the synergy between exquisite interiors and exceptional gastronomy. Both share a common thread of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and a pursuit of perfection.’

Nominations are now open for this year’s event, and we want you, our readers, to help us. Whether it’s your local pub you treasure, a special occasion dining destination, a person who has influenced our food and drink scene or a small but mighty food producer creating the finest ingredients for the best chefs we want to hear all about them. The closing date is April 7th. The finalists will be selected by a panel of expert judges. Businesses and individuals from the Cheshire Life circulation area can enter or be nominated.

Great British Life: Cheshire Life editor, Joanne Goodwin. Cheshire Life editor, Joanne Goodwin.

The  2024 Cheshire Life Food & Drink Awards categories


Chef of the Year

Sponsored by Touched Interiors

Great British Life: Touched InteriorsTouched Interiors

This is awarded to the chef who has devoted themselves to providing the best food the county (and the country) has to offer. A cook who is not only turning out the best food you can eat locally but has also propelled Cheshire’s dining scene onto a national stage and consistently raises standards.

Young Chef of the Year

The one to watch - a person aged 25 or under who is already making a name for themselves among their peers – whether a student or working chef. The one Cheshire and many Michelin starred chefs would be keen to have on their team.

Cheshire Restaurant of the Year

Sponsored by H G Stephensons

Great British Life: H G StephensonsH G Stephensons

The town or country restaurant offering an unrivalled dining experience, including the food, service and setting. If you’re going to eat at one place in the county - this should be it.

City Restaurant of the Year

Whether they are being awarded Michelin stars for their food or the restaurant is attracting diners from across the county, this award is for the restaurant that is on the name of every foodie’s lips. The must-visit place that gets people talking.

North Wales Restaurant of the Year

The restaurant celebrating the best of North Wales, offering local delicacies and a memorable all-round experience.

Dining Pub of the Year

The Cheshire pub where the welcome is as outstanding as the food on the menu. Good beer and great food provenance a must. Open to businesses in the Cheshire Life circulation area.

Tearoom or Café of the Year

It’s a debate that will forever rumble, but this award will find the place that serves the best tea and coffee - as well as those all-important cakes and bakes.

Food Retailer of the Year

Sponsored by Morning Foods

Great British Life: Morning FoodsMorning Foods

Cheshire produce showcased alongside great service is the criteria here. This is a place putting the county’s finest food and drink on show for all to savour - whether a deli, specialist shop, farm shop, market or street food vendor.

New Opening of the Year

A chef/food person/business that has set the county’s food industry alight, turning the gaze on Cheshire. The food venture must have started on or after January 1, 2023.

Food Hero of the Year

A person or event which has made a vital and lasting contribution to the county’s ever-growing food and drink scene - this could be a front of house champion, a famous face or festival shouting about the region’s food and drink, a farmer using innovations to enhance our food, a person heading up a major food and drink business. The award celebrates those going the extra mile to make Cheshire the tasty county it is.

Food Producer of the Year

Whether a farmer/fruit and veg grower/manufacturer, this food hero will be a person devoted to their business and producing the very best food Cheshire has to offer.

Drink Producer of the Year

Whether a gin-maker/brewery or manufacturer, we are looking for a person devoted to their business and producing the very best drink products Cheshire has to offer.

Click here to submit your nominations

Closing date: April 15th.

Great British Life: The team at St Martha's. Photo: Kirsty ThompsonThe team at St Martha's. Photo: Kirsty Thompson

What it means to win

Winning an award and the kudos it brings to a hospitality business or individual working in the industry is immeasurable. Kelly Woodnutt of 2023 Restaurant of the Year St Martha Greek Taverna in Nantwich, told us: ‘As a small independent restaurant, winning this award means the world to us.’

Interested in being a sponsor?

Several of our categories have already been sponsored by leading Cheshire businesses. If you are interested in sponsoring a category at this year's Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards, please contact Jane Hanson on