Food & Drink Awards: Who’s cooking up the best taste in the district…

RESTAURANTS and bars, cafés and pubs, market stalls and off-licences. These premises and more are among those being invited to enter the prestigious Huntingdonshire Food and Drink Awards. With the District s first ever Food and Drink Festival set to tanta

RESTAURANTS and bars, cafés and pubs, market stalls and off-licences. These premises and more are among those being invited to enter the prestigious Huntingdonshire Food and Drink Awards.

With the District's first ever Food and Drink Festival set to tantalise taste buds in September, the Huntingdonshire Food and Drink Awards will prove a fine complement to this celebration of locally-sourced produce.

Jointly run by Huntingdonshire District Council and The Hunts Post, the search is on to find the best food and drink in the region in a variety of different categories, designed to recognise the cream of the crop.

Category winners will receive widespread publicity and acclaim, with an official awards ceremony to be held at Huntingdon's Old Bridge Hotel on September 10.


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THE CATEGORIES

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR is likely to be among the most hotly-contested categories, with judges looking for eateries offering great food from local sources. The winning restaurant will have a good variety of food on the menu, with vegetarians catered for, and will produce delicious meals.

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CAFE/TAKE-AWAY OF THE YEAR will be judged on the same criteria as the restaurant category, though in a less formal setting.

FOOD AND DRINK RETAILER and BEST LOCAL FOOD PRODUCER categories will feature those who supply Huntingdonshire homes and businesses with the very best in locally-sourced foods.

PUB OF THE YEAR will have a good selection of beer, wines and other drinks, as well as good quality food created using local ingredients. The landlord will also need to demonstrate how the pub fits into the community.

MARKET TRADER: A commitment to selling quality local produce is the main requirement for the award. The winning trader can sell either raw materials or cooked food, or both.

COMMUNITY COOK: This special category is for anyone in the district who spends time devoted to producing healthy, balanced meals and gives a chance for people to say thank-you. This award should be nominated by another person, and budgetary constraints will be taken into account. This could be for school cooks, care home chefs or other community-based staff.

DRINKS PRODUCER: This award seeks out those who really know and care about their drink. Whether it is fruit juice, wine, beer or something else, judges will be looking for methods of ensuring a drink is as good as it can be. This might be through making the drink from scratch or simply selling from a shop in the district.

JUNIOR CHEF: This award, sponsored by Anglian Water, will go to the best young talent in Huntingdonshire, aged 11-14, who has shown aptitude in creating a two-course meal especially for our judges to enjoy.

A special cook-off will be held during the Huntingdonshire Food and Drink Festival, which starts on September 8.

HDC economic development officer and one of the event organisers, Deni Darke, said: "The Huntingdonshire Food and Drink Festival is set to be one of the highlights of the year and the Food and Drink Awards promise to be the jewel in the crown."

Andy Veale, editor of The Hunts Post, said: "Food and drink are part of our everyday lives and rarely do we take the time to stop and appreciate the very best we have to offer.

"There is a wealth of delicious food and drink on offer in Huntingdonshire and we look forward to receiving entries from across the district."

INFORMATION: For more on the Huntingdonshire Food and Drink Festival, visit www.huntsfoodfestival.co.uk, contact Deni Darke on 01480 388074 or The Hunts Post on 01480 411481.

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