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Winners announced for Taste of Kent Awards 2018

by Fred Latty

Winners announced for Taste of Kent Awards 2018

Local producers enjoy their moment in the spotlight at Maidstone’s Kent Event Centre

The great and the good from the Garden of England’s thriving food and drink scene stepped out in style for the Taste of Kent Awards last week. At a glittering black-tie dinner at the Kent Event Centre in Maidstone, the county’s ultimate food and drink champions were crowned, from the tastiest food and drink products, to the best producers, restaurants, pubs and shops.

Among the 2018 winners were Pure Kent and Eckley Farms in Staplehurst, who came Highly Commended for Kent Countryside Award, whereas Chapel Down in Tenterden went home with Kent Wine of the Year for their Bacchus 2016. (Biddenden Vineyards and The Mount Vineyard in Sevenoaks were named joint runners-up in the same category, for their Ortega 2016 and Sparkling White 2013 respectively.)

In Tunbridge Wells, Southborough Butchers earned a runner-up nod for Kent Butcher Shop of the Year, while Staplehurst again saw Pure Kent excel in the Kent Food Product Classes Awards, namely for their Stoneground Wheat and Barley Flour in Bakery and Confectionary, as well as their Oak Smoked Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil in the Ambient subcategory.

Kent’s Tastiest Juice of the Year went to Owlets Fruit Juice in Lamberhurst for their Spiced Kent Apple Juice – a category in which Biddenden Vineyards were again named runner-up. Sissinghurst Pigs, meanwhile, likewise gained runner-up for Kent Food Producer of the Year.

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent said: “Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists. They should be thrilled at making it through to the final phase, as the results are always close and the judging is difficult, as the standards are so high. The winners have, however, shone above the competition to be named the tastiest or the best.”

Sponsored this year by Cripps LLP, the Taste of Kent Awards are the longest-running in the county, having been organised by Produced in Kent since 2004, to showcase the best of Kent’s food and drink products. For the full list of winners and to find out more, visit www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk