At last, after many months of customer votes, careful judging and much organisation, the Essex Chronicle, Essex Food and Drink Awards reached its finale at Braxted Park in Witham last night.
It was a joy to attend the awards evening and celebrate the rich diversity and exceptionally high standards of food and drink businesses situated in Essex.
All of the finalists were brought there by the backing of their customers, which in itself is an unbeatable accolade. However, there could only be one winner for each category, and in the end the final decision rested with the judging panel and each individual sponsor.
The results are as follows:
Chef of the Future
Tom Booton, Le Talbooth, Dedham
Baker of the Year
Best Hotel Restaurant
Prested Hall, Feering
Best Traditional Pub
Axe and Compasses, Arkesden, nr Saffron Walden
Large Restaurant of the Year
Small Restaurant of the Year
Contented Sole, Burnham on Crouch
Highly Commended – Maldon Tandoori, Maldon
Best Newcomer Restaurant
The Du Cane, Great Braxted
Chef of the Year
Jonathan Brown, The Du Cane, Great Braxted
Best Essex Retail Product
Fairfields, Farm Crisps, Wormingford, Colchester
Best Farm Shop
Calcott Hall Farm, Brentwood
Best Gastro Pub
Best Restaurant Service
Blue Strawberry, Hatfield Peverel.
The evening was expertly hosted by Etholle George from BBC Essex and Alan Geere, editor and chief of The Essex Chronicle. Much, much praise is deserved to Ann Pocock who seamlessly organised this event and has made it the success it is. A fabulous evening was had by all.
Much thanks to Linda (@goodshoeday), Danny (@FoodUrchin) and Steve (@revealseo) for coming down to these here Essex parts, supporting the event and being such fabulous company! Sorry, no refunds will be given ;)
Photographs and a full write up will be available on the Essex Chronicle website soon…
Cannot wait for next year!