The search for the crème de la crème among Norfolk’s food and farming industry will begin at a new launch event in Aylsham town centre on Saturday 7th April.
Organisers of The Aylsham Agricultural Show Association’s 12th annual Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards ask the public for nominations for the premier individuals and businesses in four categories (last year’s winners in brackets):
The Overall Championship Sponsors are Lovewell Blake – Accounts, Business Advisers and Financial Planners, and the Association is very grateful for their continued support. They will be represented by Chris Solt, who, with Michael Baker (winner of the 2017 Individual Food or Drink Hero award), will judge the overall winner of the four Categories below.
1. Best specialist food or drink supplier, sponsored by Barclays. The supplier may only sell products using ingredients mainly grown or farmed by them (Yare Valley Oils, Surlingham).
2. Best use of Norfolk produce on menu, sponsored by Gressingham Foods. The owner, chef and staff need to demonstrate the use of, and enthusiasm for, Norfolk produce (The Duck Inn, Stanhoe and winners of the Overall Championship).
3. Best food or drink retailer, sponsored by Dewing Grain. The retailer needs to promote and sell a large range of Norfolk produce (Nortons Dairy, Frettenham).
4. Best new food or drink venture, sponsored by Spire Solicitors. This new venture must have started trading in 2016/2017. The owner needs to demonstrate the future potential of the business, and the use or promotion of Norfolk produce (Vanvino, Wymondham).
As usual, the Individual Food or Drink Hero – who will be chosen by Aylsham Show president for 2018, Michael Gamble – will be presented with the President’s Tankard at this summer’s Aylsham Show.
And the winner of the Overall Championship, who will receive the Ken Dye Memorial Salver, will also be revealed at the action-packed show, which takes place at the Blickling Estate on bank holiday Monday, August 27.
In one of several new departures this year, the 2017 category award winners will judge, along with the sponsors, the 2018 victors.
And in another “first”, the awards will be launched at Aylsham Farmers’ Market, in the town’s Market Place, on Saturday April 7, from 9am-1pm.
Forms and help will be available for visitors wanting to make nominations and last year’s winners will be showcasing their products – with plenty of free tastings on offer.
Alex Haswell has taken over from Jacinth Rogers as head steward for the awards. A former chartered surveyor who loves the countryside, Alex, from Lammas, near Coltishall, now works as a fundraising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Norfolk and Suffolk.
She said: “We believe it is important to recognise the hard work that many individuals and businesses invest and are delighted that the 2017 winners will be judging this year’s categories with the sponsors, to acknowledge their contribution.”