The Grand Finalists in the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2019 have been revealed this week following an intensive eight-month judging process, supported by a record 18,000 public votes.
West Sussex dominates the field but we are proud to see a St Leonards based finalist - The BBQ Project in the running.
The company operate a distinctive Citroen H van to serve up fresh local produce and innovative bbq style dishes at events, festivals, fairs and weddings.
They are one of three finalists in the Sussex Street Food of the Year category and are up against two West Sussex businesses.
One of only three East Sussex Finalists is Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harvey’s Brewery.
Lewes is up against farmers markets from Shoreham and Chichester.
Young Sussex Farmer of the Year category, sponsored by the South of England Agricultural Society in association with Farmers Weekly magazine, received a record number of entries from across the region. Finalists include 27-year-old cider maker, Rachel Knowles from Trenchmore Farm in Cowfold.
All the Grand Finalists will be invited to join over 350 leaders in the food, drink and farming industry at the awards banquet taking place on May 15 2019 at the Amex Stadium in Falmer, where the overall winners will be announced for Young Sussex Farmer, Food Producer, Drink Producer, Young Chef, Farmers Market, Food Shop, Butcher, Eating Experience, Street Food and Newcomer of the Year.
Sussex farmer and Nuffield scholar, William Goodwin, who is chairman of the judges, said: “Over the last decade, Sussex has really earned its place as one of the leading counties in the UK for producing superb food and drink and this year’s Grand Finalists line up offers an impressive range of first class, diverse businesses from across the county.
“The competition continues to get tougher year on year and the Grand Finalists announced so far, 21 from West Sussex, three from East Sussex and three from Brighton and Hove, should feel immensely proud.”