Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2022: Judges now on the lookout for the county’s best dining venues, community cafes and world cuisine restaurants

Does your local business have what it takes to win Gold at this year’s food and drink awards?

Friday, 15th July 2022, 1:53 pm

The fourteenth year of the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards is now in full swing with many of its categories now closed and judging well underway - however, there are still three categories open for nominations.

One of the award’s longest standing categories, Booker Dining Venue of the Year is still open for entries from pubs and restaurants across the county.

Last year saw The Falcon at Castle Ashby, The Pig & Waffle at Grafton Underwood and Greedy Gordons Pub Company all take Gold and they have been reaping the benefits of the competition ever since.

More finalists have been announced for the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2022.

The World Cuisine Restaurant category - sponsored by British Pepper & Spice - is for venues whose menus offer predominantly international cuisine and it is also still open for submissions. Last year’s winner was Indian restaurant, Saffron, situated in Castilian Street.

Community Cafe of the Year - sponsored by The Good Loaf - is one of the awards’ newest categories and still seeking nominations for tea rooms and cafes that have the best local produce and are a ‘stand-out-from-the-crowd’ eatery, receiving noteworthy support within their communities.

CEO of the Good Loaf, Suzy Van Rooyen, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Community Café category this year.

“As winners of the Local Food Hero Award in years gone by, we know what an uplift the recognition means to small businesses and are so pleased to be a part of this for others who will see the benefit.”

Venues will be visited by two mystery shoppers before the finalists for these categories are decided. Keen foodies interested in being mystery shoppers are asked to contact [email protected] for more information.

There have been two exceptional cook offs for the ‘Booker Young Chef of the year’ category, - hosted by Northampton College - and the ‘Whitco Chef of the year’ category - hosted by Tresham College - over the past two weeks, which delivered passionate performances from a number of talented chefs.

Vita from Whitco, sponsor of the Whitco Chef of the Year category, said: “It’s all about the people and it’s the people that can make it all matter and happen.

“We want to be able to say to the chef well done, whether that be a casual, a very quick, easy dinner, or a fine dining experience. We all should say thanks to the chef because it’s an amazing skill and it’s so undervalued in this country.”

Finalists for the Booker Young Chef Award:

Nicole Wicks - Rushton Hall Shawn Monk and Matthew Heritage - The Falcon Inn at Fotheringhay David Smith - The Palmichael Hannah Dunne - Ember.

Finalists for the Whitco Chef of the Year Award:

Bartlomiej Polinski - Hibiscus Arturs Dzerins - Electric Pavillion Ben Dury - The Red Lion in Cranford Michael O’Gorman - The University of Northampton, Waterside Campus.

Gold award winners for the ‘Booker Young Chef of the Year’ and ‘Whitco Chef of the Year’ categories will receive a “special culinary experience.”

Gold, Silver and Bronze winners will be announced at The Royal & Derngate Theatre on October 12, 2022.

For more details on all the categories in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2022/23, visit www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk

You can also follow the Awards on Facebook at @foodawards or Twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on LinkedIn at @weetabixnfadawards.