Brighton and Hove Food Awards 2017

All the stars were out for the biggest night on the Brighton and Hove food calendar last Monday, as the annual Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival awards took place. The awards celebrate the best that the city’s hospitality industry has to offer, with everyone from restaurants and hotels through to cafés and producers being celebrated. The night would be held at Merkaba in the centre of town for the second year, and as always they put on a great night.

The awards are co-ordinated by the team behind the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival CIC with public nominations open via the festival website from April to August each year. The top three public nominations in each category are then sent on to the judging panel who score each finalist through a combination of visiting venues, secret shopping and interviews as applicable.

Brighton Food Blog
The Ridgeview was flowing at the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival Awards 2017 at Merkaba photo ©Julia Claxton

Now in its 15th year, the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival is a year-round celebration of the city and county’s food and drink industries. It is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company run by a group of business people passionate about our city and county.

The festival organisation is fulfilling its long-term aims and objectives to promote Brighton & Hove and surrounding Sussex as a world-class food tourism destination, encouraging better ways of eating and engaging with food for citizens, creating a promotional platform for food and hospitality businesses, building a connected regional supply chain and facilitating international trade.

Brighton Food Blog
Chefs Duncan Ray and Michael Bremner at Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival Awards 2017 at Merkaba. Credit Julia Claxton

There were some very popular winners on the night, and a full list of the winners can be found below or on the festival website. I was honoured to have been asked to judge the sustainable business category this year, although was less so when asked to present the award on stage; public speaking is not my forte. My big favourites on the night were wins for BeFries in the best newcomber category; 64 Degrees and Michael Bremner in best restaurant and chef respectively and also Isaac Bartlett-Copeland winning the food hero award.

Nick Mosley, festival director: “This has been another fantastic year for the city’s food and drink scene with lots of new developments. The food awards are a celebration of the creativity and diversity in our food economy and a genuine highlight of the food year. A huge amount of work is done behind the scenes by my colleagues at the food festival and our judging panel to ensure the integrity of the awards. We believe the awards are a true representation of the best of the best across the entire hospitality and food industry of Brighton & Hove.”

Brighton Food Blog
Big win for BeFries @ Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival Awards 2017 at Merkaba, myhotel, Brighton: Photo credit Julia Claxton

Everyone who was nominated was a winner in my eyes, but if you want to be pedantic about it and view the actual winners here they are:

Best Afternoon Tea

Category sponsored by Midnight Communications

Gold: The Salt Room

Silver: The Grand

Bronze: Metrodeco

 

Best Breakfast

Category sponsored by Dental Health Spa

Gold: V and H Café

Silver: Egg & Spoon

Bronze: Billie’s Café

 

Best Burger

Category judged by Allison Ferns, BBC Sussex

Gold: Burger Brothers

Silver: Preston Park Tavern

Bronze: Gourmet Burger Kitchen

 

Best Café

Category sponsored by 204060 Radio Cabs

Gold: V and H Café

Silver: Egg & Spoon

Bronze: Metrodeco

 

Best Cheap Eats

Category judged by Guy Lloyd, Juice Brighton 107.2

Gold: La Choza

Silver: Befries

Bronze: Pompoko

 

Best Cocktail Bar

Category sponsored by Blackdown Artisan Spirits

Gold: The Plotting Parlour

Silver: The Cocktail Shack

Bronze: Merkaba

 

Best Family Dining

Category sponsored by 3 Blonde Bears

Gold: Curry Leaf Café

Silver: Woodbox Pizza

Bronze: Fatto a Mano

 

Best Food Pub

Category sponsored by Cardens Accountants

Gold: The Earth and Stars

Silver: Preston Park Tavern

Bronze: The Basketmakers

 

Best International Cuisine

Category sponsored by Baobab Developments

Gold: Curry Leaf Café

Silver: Aguadulce

Bronze: The Chilli Pickle

 

Best Newcomer

Category sponsored by Style Accountants

Gold: Befries

Silver: Murmur

Bronze: Etch

 

Best Place to do Business

Category sponsored by Cobb Digital

Gold: The Salt Room

Silver: Hotel du Vin

Bronze: Small Batch Coffee Roasters

 

Best Place to Sleep

Category sponsored by Hensby Law

Gold: Artist Residence

Silver: Drakes of Brighton

Bronze: My Brighton

 

Best Producer in the City

Category sponsored by Wobblegate fruit juices and Eden fruit cider

Gold: Boho Gelato

Joint Silver: Brighton Bier

Joint Silver: Brighton Gin

 

Best Pub

Category sponsored by The Beer Collective

Gold: The Earth and Stars

Silver: Preston Park Tavern

Bronze: The Basketmakers

 

Best Restaurant

Category sponsored by Claire Walsh IFA

Gold: 64 Degrees

Silver: Isaac At

Bronze: Terre à Terre

 

Best Sustainable Food Business

Category judged by Tom Flint, Brighton & Hove Independent

Gold: hiSbe

Silver: Silo

Bronze: Infinity Foods

 

Best Takeaway

Category sponsored by Brighton Catering Supplies

Gold: The Chilli Pickle

Silver: Curry Leaf Café

Bronze: Befries

 

Best Venue Design

Category sponsored by Posture People

Gold: Red Roaster / Pike & Pine

Silver: Holy Phok

Bronze: The Set

 

Food Hero

Category sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter

Gold: Isaac Bartlett-Copeland, Isaac At

Silver: Seb Cole, Boho Gelato

Bronze: Amy Anslow & Ruth Anslow hiSbe

 

Chef of the Year

Category sponsored by Ridgeview Wine Estate
Category judged by Mardi Roberts (Ridgeview Wine Estate), Ben Mckellar (Gingerman Group), Jeremy Ashpool (Jeremy’s Restaurant), Joe Lutrario (Restaurant magazine), Andrew Kay (Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival)

Winner: Michael Bremner, 64 Degrees

Highly Commended: Steven Edwards, Etch

Highly Commended: Duncan Ray, The Little Fish Market

 

Young Chef of the Year

Category sponsored by BrightonandHoveJobs.com
Category judged by Billy Humphreys (BrightonandHoveJobs.com), Ben Mckellar (Gingerman Group), Jeremy Ashpool (Jeremy’s Restaurant), Joe Lutrario (Restaurant magazine), Andrew Kay (Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival)

Winner: George Boarer, Etch

Highly Commended: Jackson Heron, 64 Degrees

Highly Commended: George Ousley, Isaac At

 

Special Recognition Award

Chosen by the food festival directors

Winner: Hotel du Vin

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