THE annual Food Drink Devon awards move to a new venue this year, for the ceremony on 8th October, which will be at Highbullen Hotel Golf and Country Club, Umberleigh, North Devon and hosted by broadcaster Nigel Barden.
Entries have closed for the 2018 awards and with a ten per cent increase, it looks to be another bumper year following the 2017 record result.
Barbara King, who champions Devon’s producers in her role as chairman of the board of directors for Food Drink Devon, says: “The awards, currently in their eighth year, celebrate the very best Devon has to offer by recognising the county’s most respected, influential and passionate artisan food and drink producers and establishments. We have been overwhelmed with this year’s response which represents a significant increase in applications on top of last year’s unprecedented numbers.”
She said the location of the 125 acre Highbullen estate in the heart of North Devon, with its strong foodie credentials, was a key factor in deciding to hold the award ceremony in this part of the county.
Nigel Bardem, a top Great Taste Awards judge and popular BBC Radio 2 presenter, is an ardent supporter of British producers and a huge fan of Devon’s food and drink scene.
The awards cover a broad spectrum of categories, with retail awards including Best Producer, Best Retailer and Best Online Retailer, hospitality awards including Best Fine Dining Restaurant, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Pub Restaurant, Best Restaurant, Best Bistro, Best Café/Tearoom and Best Pub. New categories this year are Best Street Food, Best Farmers’ Market and Best Training School.
Food Drink Devon’s 2018/2019 guide, with details of all its members, has just been published and is a go-to reference for the best places to find and enjoy local produce in Devon.