Essex Life is delighted to launch its first ever Fine Food and Drink Awards

PUBLISHED: 14:35 18 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:12 20 February 2013

Essex Life is delighted to launch its first ever Fine Food and Drink Awards

Essex Life is delighted to launch its first ever Fine Food and Drink Awards

Essex Life is delighted to launch its first ever Fine Food and Drink Awards...

Essex Life is delighted to launch its first ever Fine Food and Drink Awards.

Find out here how you can help celebrate all the best our county has to offer...

Chef of the Year

Essex is home to some of the most celebrated chefs in the country. With expert use of the countys wide range of local and seasonal produce, many of our chefs constantly change and modify their menu to be fresh and forward-thinking. In this category of the Essex Life Fine Food & Drink Awards, we are looking for the chefs producing menus that make a difference. This category pits the finest Michelin-starred chefs against the local bistro chef. The winner of this award isnt based on style, pizzazz and lavishness. Instead, it is all about quality, passion and producing fabulous local dishes.

Essex Food Producerof the Year

Our county is home to both world-famous brands that send a taste of Essex around the world and innovative food producers that have seen a niche and seized the chance and this award is open to all of them. This award aims to recognise the best local food producers in Essex, celebrating the dedication that goes in to creating the fabulous choice of fine foods available in our supermarkets, delicatessens or farm shops. We will be considering how produce is made, where it is made and how it is brought to the market place as we search for a winner of this category.

Essex Drink Producer of the Year

From microbreweries to vineyards, this category is your chance to nominate some of the very best drink producers in the county. Whether they specialise in the production of cider, wine, beer, juices, spring water or a range of these products, let us know. Do they use fresh, natural ingredients? Is the packaging easy to read? Do the products contain artificial preservatives, flavouring and colourings? And, most important of all, is it the best Essex-produced drink you have tasted?

Gastro Pub of the Year

Many of our local pubs now offer an outstanding dining experience and this category looks to reward the best available in Essex. We will take into account the whole eating out experience, from the warm welcome to the friendly goodbye. And of course we are not forgetting everything that happens in between. We want to hear about exciting, locally-sourced menus that give great value for money and serve up a real wow factor when your dishes arrive. Do local beers, wines and juices appear behind the bar? Is everything in this establishment made to order and by hand? Why not let us know your favourite.

Restaurant of the year

Whether you have a favourite high street hotspot or an out-of-town retreat, this category is their chance to pick up an award. We are looking for dining delights that leave you hungry only to return. Once again, the overall experience will win the day here, with quality offered on all fronts, including great value for money. Interesting and innovative menus will be key, featuring local produce, nutritional information and plenty of tempting surprises. Helpful and knowledgeable staff will also score points as we search for the eatery offering an overall atmosphere of excellence that leaves the fondest memories of a great meal.

Farm Shop of the Year

The key to a good farm shop is not only the range of produce and its layout, but also the principles behind the whole ethos of the store. We are looking for farm shops working in partnership with the food produces around it and that use innovative ways of bringing buyers the best local produce as fresh as possible. Does the farm shop offer a delivery service? Is there clear traceability of the produce available? Are the staff knowledgeable and courteous? Is the produce of a high standard and does it taste great? If you know a farm shop that can answer yes to these questions, then it is a great one to nominate.

Independent Food Retailer of the Year

The friendly face of a local grocer, butcher or baker has been a sight that has been disappearing from our high streets over recent decades. And yet some local food retailers continue to buck this trend thanks to a dedication to great taste, good value and the best standards in customer service. Incorporating all elements of the food retail arena, this award aims to recognise the best independent shops, delis and cafes in the county maintaining the traditions of bringing fabulous food and drink to our high streets.

Tea Shop of the Year

Taking time out for afternoon tea is right back on trend and this category in the Essex Life Fine Food and Drink Awards is aiming to find the very best tea-time treat. Taste is vitally important, but cost, convenience and choices beyond cucumber sandwiches are certainly other considerations. No one does afternoon tea better than the British, but who does it best in Essex?

Real Ale Pub of the Year

With so many of our local pubs looking to offer food, lets not forget the traditions of a good pub for a great drink. The winner of this category will need to stock a wide range of real ales that are changed regularly to keep the regulars happy. Supporting local breweries will be another key feature of top candidates, but overall the Real Ale Pub of the Year will go to an Essex pub that provides, great taste, good company and a fabulous service to the community it is located within.

Essex Life Food and Drink Hero Award

Essex has a fabulously vibrant food and drink scene featuring an ever-changing spectrum of new restaurants, tasty produce and talented chefs. This category celebrates the individuals who are making the most impact in the county. It could be a local celebrity, journalist, critic, barman, waiter, farmer or farmers wife in fact the choice is yours. Let us know who you think goes the extra mile to make a difference.

Customer Service Award

Service with a smile costs nothing but poor customer service can cost a business dearly. Thats why this category aims to highlight those within the Essex food and drink industry that are putting their customers first. Good customer service can make all the difference to a dining experience, but this award can go beyond a smile behind the bar or a warm welcome as you enter a restaurant. Wherever you find good customer service throughout the food and drink industry in Essex, we want to hear about it.

Green Initiative of the Year

In recent years many of the countys communities, individuals and businesses have been finding inspiring new ways to make their lives or businesses more environmentally sustainable. This award looks to honour the best new ideas that are helping us to eat and drink more healthily, and in a way that is more healthy for our environment. From the farmer rebuilding habitats for wildlife to the farmhouse breakfast made with zero food miles, this category aims to reward those taking the time out to care for our countys countryside and culinary reputation.

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