Finalists announced for the Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards 2021
March 17, 2021

It’s time – the finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards have been announced this week.

The new Foodie Awards 2021, which I’m delighted to be involved in organising and promoting, is a celebration of the best of the region’s food and drink scene. They come at a particularly difficult time for the industry as a whole as it emerges from what is probably the toughest year hospitality has seen in recent history.

Despite the difficult circumstances the food awards for Coventry and Warwickshire – which are organised in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Visit Coventry and Coventry BID, have been incredibly well received with more than 200 entries received. They span categories including Best Restaurant, Best Chef/Cook, Best Artisan Producer and more, as well as three COVID-focused categories which close at the end of March.

For the other categories, the finalists have now been revealed, and more than 40 food and drink businesses across the region will now come under the scrutiny of a panel of judges made up of some of the top names in the industry to choose the winners. They include: Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell; Andreas Antona, owner of The Cross in Kenilworth; and Russell Allen, managing director of Aubrey Allen. Also on the judging panel is influencer Chris Hardy AKA ‘The Fat Foodie.’

The finalists are now invited to a Finalists and Supporters event in Coventry on July 22nd , which will also form the curtain-raiser to the Coventry Food Festival which kicks off on Friday July 23rd and runs all weekend. The festival, organised by Coventry BID, will be headlined by Michelin Star chef Theo Randall and Lesley Waters, who is well known for her cookery books, and television appearances on Ready Steady Cook (BBC), Great Food Live (UKTV), and This Morning (ITV).

Foodies organiser Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: “After the year we have all had, and especially for those across the food, drink and hospitality industry, I am so inspired by the positivity in the responses received from all those being told their business had been selected as a finalist in the inaugural Foodie Awards for Coventry and Warwickshire.

“Selecting the finalists in each category from the 200 entries received was a tough challenge and now the really hard work of deciding the category winners is left to our fantastic independent judges.

“To learn of the sacrifices made, the plans disrupted and changes everyone has had to make to their businesses is inspiring and I’m delighted to be part of the Foodie Awards and this recognition program that encourages everyone that their efforts were worth it.”

The Foodie Awards will also be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Trish Willetts, Coventry BID Director, said: “I was delighted to help shortlist the finalists for the inaugural Foodie Awards. There was an incredible calibre of entries, so I don’t envy the judges having to make the final decisions. This will be a wonderful event, celebrating the best of the foodie scene across Coventry and Warwickshire, and I’m very much looking forward to raising a glass to them all on the 22nd July!”

She added: “We are aiming to bring some additional joy and celebration into the city centre across the Food Festival weekend, with stalls across Broadgate, demonstrations from our amazing celebrity chefs – Theo and Lesley – and
some fantastic live music.”

There is still time to enter the three remaining special awards which will also recognise businesses and individuals who went above and beyond during the Coronavirus pandemic – the COVID-19 Resilience Award backed by Visit
Coventry; Food Champion Award, and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID.

Nominations deadline for these is Wednesday, March 31st . For more information on the awards – or to enter the remaining three categories, visit:

The finalists are:
Best Artisan Drink Producer
Dhillons Brewery, Coventry
Cotswolds Distillery, Stourton
Pinnock Distillery, Kineton
Welcombe Hills Vineyard, Stratford

Best Artisan Food Producer
Price’s Spices, Leamington
Miss Ellie’s of Coventry
Birtelli’s, Leamington
Bluebells Cottage Fudge & Nougat, Stratford

Best Café/Coffee Shop
Warwick Street Kitchen, Leamington
Bumbles, Studley
Bean and Leaf, Coventry

Jack’s Shack, Warwick

Chef/Cook of the Year
George Cambridge, of Warwick Street Kitchen, Leamington
Jay Alan, of Tumeric Gold, Coventry
Baabzi Miah, of Baabzi Indian Takeaway, Warwick
Tony Davis, of Gourmet Food Kitchen, Coventry
Tobias Reutt, of Earlsdon Supper Club

Best Food/Drink Experience
The Dice Box, Leamington
Coombe Abbey, Coventry
Gourmet Food Kitchen, Coventry
Bread For Life, Warwick
Earlsdon Supper Club, Coventry

Best Farm Shop
The Farm, Stratford
Hilltop Farm, Leamington
Farmers Fayre, Stoneleigh

Best Independent Business
Proof Bakery, Coventry
Procaffeinate, Leamington
The Steamhouse, Leamington and Redditch

Newcomer Award
Pasta Brothers, Bishops Tachbrook
Meon Pizza, Meon Vale
Bramble Dining, Leamington
Mor Bakery, Stratford
Green Dragon, Coventry

Pub or Bar of the Year
Dhillons Brewery, Coventry
The Drawing Board, Leamington
The Yard, Coventry
The Virgins and Castle, Kenilworth

Restaurant of the Year
Turmeric Gold, Coventry
Oscars French Steakhouse and Bistro, Leamington
Harringtons on the Hill, Kenilworth
Tasca Dali, Warwick

Street Food Trader of the Year
Paneer Wrap
Bad Boys Burgers
Full of Chaat
Salt and Pepper’s
Stripclub Street Food