In case you hadn’t noticed, the Foodie Awards has been back of late, showcasing the best food and drink businesses in Coventry & Warwickshire.
This was the second year of the Foodie Awards, organised in partnership with Visit Warwickshire and Visit Coventry, which were launched in 2021 to recognise businesses in the region across 17 categories.
Apparently there were more entrants than the first year, and this year included a new special award honouring a Food Hero, sponsored by Visit Coventry, as well as a Community Award voted for by the public.
The judging panel included Michelin Star chef Paul Foster, who runs Stratford’s Salt restaurant, British Bake-off winner Candice Brown and food and drink broadcaster and champion Nigel Barden. I was also delighted to be asked to help judge the Fine Dining Chef cook-off alongside Paul Foster.
The final winners were announced at an event at FarGo Village on Thursday 16th June attended by food businesses and hospitality owners from across the region.
Winners included: Fine Dining Restaurant, won by The Loft in Coventry; Fine Dining Chef of the Year, won by Tobias Reutt of Earlsdon Supper Club; and the International Taste Award, which went to The Cork and Tile in Stratford.
New categories this year also recognised Foodie Start-up, won by St Maur in Alcester while Metropolis in Coventry scooped the Visit Coventry Food Hero Community Award.
The awards also raised more than £500 through a raffle on the night for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Foodie Awards founder Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: “I must admit to feeling humbled and inspired following the Foodie Awards presentation event. Meeting all the finalists and hearing their stories, feeling their passion for what they do and seeing how wonderfully supportive the food and drink folk are towards each other, was amazing.
“Highlights were seeing the reactions of the winners and their delight at their success and especially hearing more about our Special Food Hero award winner, Andrew Hartshorn from Finham Park 2 School.
“My thanks again to all those who entered the Foodie Awards, the businesses and organisations who sponsored the awards and especially to all those who attended the awards event and helped make it a most memorable evening.”
Winners of the Foodie Awards 2022 for Coventry & Warwickshire
Food and Drink Experience Award: Enchanted Tea Room – Leamington
Young Foodie Award: Veg Food Enthusiast – Katie Todd, Henley-in-Arden
Foodie Start-up Award: St Maur – Alcester
Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year Award: The Loft – Coventry
Fine Dining Chef of the Year Award: Tobias Reutt – Earlsdon Supper Club, Coventry
Best Casual Dining Establishment Award: Dough and Brew – Warwick
Best Casual Dining Chef Award: Sophie Hyam, Culinary Bites – Coventry
International Taste Award Award: The Cork and Tile – Stratford
Farm Shop of the Year Award: The Farm – Stratford
Artisan Drink Producer Award: Napton Cidery – Napton-on-the-Hill
Artisan Food Producer Award: Vittle and Smoke – Southam
Independent Food or Drink Retailer of the Year Award: LOLA Provisions – Leamington
The Best Cafe or Coffee Shop Award: Forrest Coffee House – Kenilworth
The Best Pub or Bar Award: The Coach House – Stratford
The Street Food Trader of the Year Award: The Boxx N Bar – Coventry
Employee of the Year Award: Kevin Prior – Metropolis Bar and Restaurant, Coventry
Community Award: Metropolis Bar and Restaurant – Coventry
Food Hero Award: Andrew Hartshorn, Finham Park 2 School – Coventry