The Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards have been launched at the headquarters of Weetabix in Burton Latimer.
The awards are in their sixth year and this year there are two extra awards categories, for Entrepreneur of the Year and Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year.
Weetabix and Northamptonshire County Council have also joined as new sponsors of the awards, which have 16 categories recognising locally produced products, restaurants, pubs and chefs.
Head of procurement at Weetabix Anthony Bowdidge said: “We are delighted to be supporting this year’s awards and to be hosting the launch. As a company we are very proud of our Northamptonshire roots and in particular our commitment to sourcing our wheat within 50 miles, thereby supporting our local farmers.
“These awards present the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the county and the depth and prosperity of the sector.”
The launch was attended by many previous award winners including last year’s Young Chef of the Year winner Laura Gibbins, formerly of The World’s End at Ecton.
Awards director Rachel Mallows, of The Mallows Company, said: “We’re really excited to be able to update the categories and introduce some new ones this year as we know that means we’ll be able to encourage a greater number and variety of businesses to get involved and give them a chance to share in that success.”
After the launch, those attending were given a tour of the Weetabix factory where they saw how the product is created and packaged.
The 16 award categories are:
Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year
Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year
Artisan Local Drink of the Year
New Local Product of the Year
New Local Drink of the Year
Booker Food Pub of the Year
Restaurant of the Year
Spice Restaurant of the Year
Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year
Chef of the Year
Young Chef of the Year
Community Pub of the Year - Town
Community Pub of the Year - Rural
Local Food Hero of the Year
Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year
F&B Entrepreneur of the Year