Finalists of Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2016

Herts Life Food & Drink Awards

Herts Life Food & Drink Awards - Credit: Archant

We are delighted to announce our finalists for the first Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards. Each of the three finalists in the 12 categories has been selected because of their outstanding contribution to our local food and drink industry. It could be good old fashioned customer service, mouth-watering menus or locally grown produce, Hertfordshire’s finest are celebrated here

Chad Rahman, Chez Mumtaj, St Albans

Chad Rahman, Chez Mumtaj, St Albans - Credit: Archant

Food & Drink Hero of the Year (sponsored by Moneyhill Interiors Ltd)

Chad Rahman, Chez Mumtaj, St Albans

Chez Mumtaj is a boutique-style restaurant set in historic St Albans. Executive Chef Chad Rahman, pushes the boundaries of Modern French–Asian Cuisine. We are innovative, progressive, persistent and passionate with our cuisine and restaurant.

Fiona Wollatt of Hedges Farm Shop

Fiona Wollatt of Hedges Farm Shop - Credit: Archant

Hedges Farm Shop, St Albans

Hedges is dedicated to providing produce that’s grown here, not flown here. Our aim has always been supplying quality home-produced and locally-sourced meat while explaining how it’s produced.

Tom and James Bainbridge, The Tilbury, Datchworth

Tom and James Bainbridge, The Tilbury, Datchworth - Credit: Archant

James Bainbridge, The Tilbury, Datchworth

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I have had some amazing opportunities but my greatest achievement has been running my own business. I aim along with my brother to deliver experiences and train our teams to have successful careers in hospitality.

Jess Tatlow, The Golden Fleece, Braughing

Jess Tatlow, The Golden Fleece, Braughing - Credit: Archant

Chef of the Year (sponsored by Dobsons)

Jess Tatlow, The Golden Fleece, Braughing

I’m very passionate about creating exciting, flavourful seasonal dishes and I’m continually developing the art of vegetarian and special-dietary-requirement cuisine for our discerning clientele.

Martin Nisbet, chef/owner, The Bushel and Strike, Ashwell

Martin Nisbet, chef/owner, The Bushel and Strike, Ashwell - Credit: Archant

Martin Nisbet, The Bushel & Strike, Ashwell

I’m always striving to exceed customer’s expectations. This is where my true passion lies, hopefully achieved by using the best, being the best and teaching the best.

Phil Thompson

Phil Thompson - Credit: Archant

Phil Thompson, THOMPSON, St Albans

This is an exciting time and I look forward to showing St Albans more of what I have to offer. I want to see diners enjoying the fine-dining experience and looking forward to their next visit.

Food Teacher, Katharine Tate

Food Teacher, Katharine Tate - Credit: Archant

Food Education Award

Katherine Tate, The Food Teacher, Harpenden

As The Food Teacher, I am hugely passionate about educating children and adults about the importance of food for health by utilising my experience as a qualified, registered nutritional therapist and teacher.

Foxholes Farm

Foxholes Farm - Credit: Archant

Foxholes Farm Shop, Butchery & Tea Room, Hertford

Our new Farm Park has facilities for educating adults and children with a field-to-fork experience, from butchery courses to little foodie farmer workshops and tasting sessions. Whatever your age, whatever the weather, there’s always something happening.

Hedges Farm Shop

Hedges Farm Shop - Credit: Archant

Hedges Farm Shop, St Albans

At Hedges Farm, we aim to inspire all ages about the origin of our food in St Albans with questions answered, shop talks and social media posts captivating many minds.

Sam Cannatella & Joe Colletti

Sam Cannatella & Joe Colletti - Credit: Archant

Best Local Industry Supplier

Cannatella & Colletti, St Albans

Originally from Sicily, the Cannatella & Colletti families were bound by heritage and a passion for growing. The second generation set up the traditional Italian food brand. We use only crops the business grows in the UK and Spain.

Hedges Farm Shop

Hedges Farm Shop - Credit: Archant

Hedges Farm Shop, St Albans

As a local butcher’s shop, we enjoy supplying meat to smaller local businesses like pubs that can rely on quality, healthy produce and indulge their aspirations.

Ross Arnold, The Stickleback Fish Company

Ross Arnold, The Stickleback Fish Company - Credit: Archant

The Stickleback Fish Company, Welham Green

We like to think that our core values of being prepared to do the right thing by our customers, a fair approach to business and going the extra mile gives us the edge over our competitors.

Foxholes Farm Shop, Butchery & Tea Room

Foxholes Farm Shop, Butchery & Tea Room - Credit: Archant

Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year

Foxholes Farm Shop, Butchery & Tea Room, Hertford

Our small family farm based in Hertford is home to a friendly farm shop; selling with a smile home-grown quality meat and fresh local produce which also finds its way onto the menu in Granny Smith’s tea room.

Hopleys Cafe

Hopleys Cafe - Credit: Archant

Hopleys Café, Much Hadham

We are proud to be at the heart of the Much Hadham community and always aim to offer a uniquely friendly welcome along with consistently fabulous, generous food and drink.

Pearce's Cafe

Pearce's Cafe - Credit: Archant

Pearce’s Farm Shop & Cafe, Buntingford

In November 2011, we built our glorious cafe that looks out over the meadows. On site, the chefs create delicious seasonal homemade menus with ingredients grown on the farm and from the shop.

Carpenter's Nursery & Farm Shop

Carpenter's Nursery & Farm Shop - Credit: Archant

Independent Retailer of the Year

Carpenter’s Nursery, St Albans

It gives me great satisfaction when I speak with customers and they tell me how much they enjoy coming to visit our premises and how glad they are that a traditional business like ours can thrive.

Foxholes Farm Shop, Butchery & Tea Room

Foxholes Farm Shop, Butchery & Tea Room - Credit: Archant

Foxholes Farm Shop, Butchery & Tea Room, Hertford

Selling the best high-quality produce sourced locally and regionally where possible, a butchery counter selling our own home-grown meat, we are a retailer with pride and knowledge, an example for the local community.

Pearce's Farm Shop & Cafe

Pearce's Farm Shop & Cafe - Credit: Archant

Pearce’s Farm Shop & Cafe, Buntingford

We seek out small artisan suppliers and those who share our passion. The farm shop is brimming with fresh fruit and vegetables, inspiring fine foods, tasty deli items, daily fresh bread, wines, local gins and contemporary gifts.

Buono Italian

Buono Italian - Credit: Archant

Newcomer of the Year (sponsored by Enjoy Dacorum)

Buono Italian, Bushey

Buono Italian is a trendy, family-run cafe/restaurant owned by chef Claudio Barchieri. Customers can expect delicious Italian dishes in a very relaxed environment. It’s informal, friendly and full of Italian flare.

Oxscale, Wheathampstead

Oxscale, Wheathampstead - Credit: Archant

Oxscale, Wheathampstead

We have passionately revived customer interest in forgotten venue. Our own brand of dry-aged beef, family brewed-beer and ‘Cocktails in the Cottage’ are just a few of the exciting things to enjoy here.

The Cookery, Hoddesdon

The Cookery, Hoddesdon - Credit: Archant

The Cookery, Hoddesdon

At The Cookery, we aim to invite our guests to learn about food, enjoy food and leave inspired. We love the moment when guest see what they are capable of cooking and share it with friends.

Bridget Borlase of Sacombe Hill Farm, Watton Stone Hartford Hartfordshire

Bridget Borlase of Sacombe Hill Farm, Watton Stone Hartford Hartfordshire - Credit: ©Tim Scrivener

Pride of Hertfordshire

Bridget B’s, Watton-at-Stone

We are a family-run business based at Sacombe Hill Farm, where the family has farmed for four generations. The business has gone from strength to strength supplying quality meat with passion and a personal service.

Pearce's Farm Shop & Cafe

Pearce's Farm Shop & Cafe - Credit: Archant

Pearce’s Farm Shop & Café, Buntingford

From humble beginnings over 40 years ago selling vegetables from a shed in the field, the Pearce family has created a fantastic food lovers’ destination where it is a joy to eat and shop.

The Tilbury, Datchworth

The Tilbury, Datchworth - Credit: Archant

Tom and James Bainbridge, Datchworth

After years of discussing and dreaming of starting our own restaurant we began in 2014 with The Tilbury in Datchworth, followed by The Tea Rooms. We are proud of our latest project The White Hart Hotel in Welwyn.

Dylans at The Kings Arms

Dylans at The Kings Arms - Credit: Archant

Pub of the Year (sponsored by Braughing Sausages)

Dylans at the Kings Arms, St Albans

Dylans opened early 2015 offering a relaxed, casual dining experience. We serve a three-course ‘bill of fayre’ in the restaurant and snacking menu with craft beers in the bar.

Darren Chason and Jamie West, The Rose & Crown, Sandridge

Darren Chason and Jamie West, The Rose & Crown, Sandridge - Credit: Archant

The Rose & Crown, Sandridge

We still enjoy the business as much as the day we started, with Darren creating beautiful home-cooked British comfort food and Jamie providing the welcome out front along with a team of enthusiastic staff.

The Artichoke, Croxley Green

The Artichoke, Croxley Green - Credit: Archant

The Artichoke, Croxley Green

The Artichoke retains many of its original 400-year-old features which complement its cosy, country pub atmosphere. We focus on using on quality produce to create the most stunning, simple food based on British pub classics.

Sarah Parker, Brewery Tea Rooms

Sarah Parker, Brewery Tea Rooms - Credit: Archant

Outstanding Customer Service (sponsored by BBW Solicitors)

Brewery Tea Rooms, Walkern

It was always my dream to create a unique café environment, where customers would always be greeted with a smile, made to feel welcome and every visit would be memorable. It’s the best job in the word.

Foxholes Farm

Foxholes Farm - Credit: Archant

Foxholes Farm Shop, Butchery & Tea Room, Hertford

Our customer service focuses on the ability to identify the needs of the individual customer with a friendly approach. We give our customers product knowledge with a smile, encouraging feedback to grow our business with great success.

Lucy Thompson, Bushel & Strike, Ashwell

Lucy Thompson, Bushel & Strike, Ashwell - Credit: Archant

Lucy Thompson, The Bushel & Strike, Ashwell

There is nothing more interesting than people and we are in the business of making them happy. For me, it is one of life’s greatest pleasures to see people smile.

Dylan Kings Arms

Dylan Kings Arms - Credit: Archant

Restaurant of the Year

Dylans at the Kings Arms, St Albans

Our restaurant is in the back room of our pub where we serve our ‘bill of fayre’ - a three-course menu using seasonal foods. It’s casual fine dining in a bustling, friendly atmosphere.

The Tilbury. Datchworth

The Tilbury. Datchworth - Credit: Archant

The Tilbury, Datchworth

At The Tilbury, we have a lot of fun creating new dishes. The à la carte menu focuses on refined British cuisine and great flavour combinations while the pub menu offers classics like game cottage pie.

Thompsons @ Darcy's

Thompsons @ Darcy's - Credit: Archant

THOMPSON, St Albans

As an independent restaurant, our success is measured by the enjoyment, pleasure and feedback of our guests - not only vital to the longevity of our business but also the satisfaction of our team.

Food Smiles

Food Smiles - Credit: Picasa

Service to the Community

Food Smiles, St Albans

After two years, 30 members enjoy vegetables, fresh air, learning new skills and social interaction. Energy and enthusiasm is bringing success, making local food growing accessible via co-operative principles and low environmental impact.

Hertfordshire Independent Living Services

Hertfordshire Independent Living Services - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire Independent Living Services, Letchworth

We are a charitable social enterprise with a passion to change the world for the better by providing nutritious hot meals, caring visits and services to over 11,000 elderly, disabled, and vulnerable people across Hertfordshire.

Mudlarks Community Garden

Mudlarks Community Garden - Credit: Archant

Mudlarks Community Garden, Hertford

Our café and community garden supports adults with learning difficulties and disabilities to learn, train and work to enable them to take an active role in the community. It’s a place where plants and people grow.

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Click here to meet the judges of the awards

Click here to go to the official Hertfordshire Life Food and Drink Awards 2016 website for all the information about categories and sponsors