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Nominations are now OPEN for the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards 2019

PUBLISHED: 10:27 16 July 2019

The Somerset Life Food and Drink Awards 2018 presentation night, held at Somerset Cricket Club in Taunton (c) Andrew Higgins/TWM

The Somerset Life Food and Drink Awards 2018 presentation night, held at Somerset Cricket Club in Taunton (c) Andrew Higgins/TWM

© Thousand Word Media

It's that time again - the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards are back and we want to know your favourites

CLICK HERE to nominate.

The Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards, to be held at Haselbury Mill in Crewekerne on Thursday October 17, are designed to champion, highlight and offer a showcase to the good and the great from the region's food & drink industry. The awards celebrate local producers & suppliers, small farming businesses, chefs, restaurants, pubs and hoteliers, and people who care about the countryside and the future of our local environment.

The companies nominated are all voted for by you, our readers. We want to know if you've received a fantastic meal at your local pub or have been impressed by local produce you have sampled. The recognition the awards offer make a fantastic and positive impact to local businesses and there has never been a better time to support your local community.

Our judges look for the quality of the nominations rather than quantity, selecting three finalists in each category using strict criteria before visiting each venue to select a winner.

For full details about the awards visit our dedicated awards website here.

See our finalists and winners from the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards 2018 here.

Nominations close Wednesday, August 14.

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The categories:

Newcomer of the Year

This category is open to anyone in the food or drink business who has started a new business venture within the last 18 months.

It could be any food and drink business - we want to know what impact they have made on the local community and whether they have started to achieve any success further afield. Are they helping to promote Somerset food and drink to a new audience?

Tea/Coffee Shop of the Year, sponsored by Haselbury Mill

We recognise that tea and coffee shops are an integral part of the Somerset food and drink scene and we'd like to know your favourites. Who makes the best tea or coffee? Who serves the nicest cakes or the best scones? Is the jam homemade and are the sandwiches freshly cut? Most importantly is it local? We're looking forward to hearing about your favourites.

Independent Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Thatchers

Vote for your favourite local food and/or drink retail shop in this category. We want to hear about your favourite deli, baker or food retailer who you think deserves this accolade. Look out for establishments that genuinely supply products produced and grown here in Somerset. This retailer must have a genuine passion for our Somerset food scene and a dedication to what it means for the local community.

Best Product/Producer of the Year

This category aims to celebrate our local producers that play such a vital role in the food and drink community. The winner of this category will be an individual or company that consistently provides reliable, quality products to customers and who is always wanting to go further. This category celebrates the individual or company who has made the most impact on the food and drink community.

Pub of the Year

This category combines traditional country drinking pubs and those recognised as dining pubs. The whole experience needs to be taken into account for this category. Customer service, value for money and the quality of the food and drink should all be accounted for. How well does the establishment use and name local suppliers and do they clearly understand their market?

Family Dining Award

Judges of this category 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, entertainment, sense of theatre, and the variety of menu for guests regardless of age.

Customer Service Award, sponsored by Ston Easton Park

This award is designed to praise a local food or drink business for their excellent awareness of their customers' needs. Vote for an establishment where nothing is too much trouble, where they are always willing to help and where attention to detail is key.

Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Howards Motor Group

This category is one of our most coveted awards; the fine dining restaurant needs to offer an incomparable dining experience, everything from the ambience to the service and most importantly the food. Is it locally sourced? Do they support local producers and are they recognised on the menu? Look through their wine list, do they have local as well as international wines and champagnes and can the staff tell you more if you ask? We'd expect nothing less from the future Restaurant of the Year.

Chef of the Year, sponsored by COOK

The chef of the year is someone who has devoted themselves to the cause of serving the best possible food.

Technical ability, use of seasonal ingredients, presentation of the food and understanding of how flavours work together, these are some of the things the chefs nominated will be judged on.

This category pits the finest Michelin-starred chefs against those working the local bistro.

Food & Drink Hero 2019, sponsored by Notaro Care Homes

This category celebrates the individual who has made the most impact on Somerset's food and drink community. This is someone who goes the extra mile to promote Somerset to a wider audience and is passionate about local produce throughout. Do you know someone who champions our vibrant local food scene?

What sets them high above the rest in terms of achievement? How have they helped to lead the way and made a positive difference. Let us know who is a worthy winner of this prestigious title.

Read more about our sponsors here.

CLICK HERE to nominate.



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