THERE was an appetite for awards at the first ever Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards.
The celebration of the area’s best hospitality businesses saw more than 40 businesses vying for success across 15 food and drink categories.
Judges included celebrity chef Glynn Purnell, his former boss Andreas Antona who owns The Cross in Kenilworth, Russell Allen, the managing director of butcher Aubrey Allen, investor and speaker John Stapleton, and ‘The Fat Foodie’ influencer Chris Hardy.
Two of the headline winners were The Barn Kitchen, formerly of Binley Woods, named Foodie Champion, and Coventry’s Dhillon’s Brewery which scooped three awards – Artisan Drink Producer of the Year, Pub/Bar of the Year and The Godiva Award.
The Barn Kitchen in Leamington won the Foodie Champion Award. Kelly Iles and her team cooked more than 96,000 meals for frontline NHS workers over 100 days. Kelly, who now runs The Enchanted Tea Room in Leamington, dedicated the award to her late father who sadly died from Covid in January.
The Covid Resilience Award went to Sara Young and Sasha Burke – the mother and daughter team behind Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen in Stratford.
Warwick Street Kitchen in Leamington was named Café/Coffee Shop of the Year, and the Best Newcomer Award was handed to Pasta Brothers in Bishops Tachbrook.
Price’s Spices in Leamington scooped two awards for Artisan Food Producer of the Year and Express to Success, the latter won jointly with Swirls Gelato in Leamington.
Independent Business of the Year was awarded to Proof Bakery in Coventry, and the city’s Stripclub Streetfood claimed the headlines in the Best Streetfood category.
There was more success for Leamington businesses when Hilltop Farm Shop and Cafe won Farm Shop of the Year, and Jessica Mooney collected the Food or Drink Experience Award for her artisan breadmaking school Bread for Life.
A Coventry business beat off strong opposition to claim the prestigious Restaurant of the Year award, marking a double decade milestone for Turmeric Gold in Spon Street.
Owner Jay Alam said: “We are absolutely thrilled – it’s a tremendous accolade which is all the more meaningful as we are this year celebrating our 20th year in business.”
Jay was also a finalist in the Chef/Cook of the Year category, eventually won by Tobias Reutt who runs Earlsdon Supper Club.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards are a partnership between Warwickshire County Council, Coventry BID and Visit Coventry.
Visit www.foodieawards.co.uk for more on the opening date for entries for next year’s competition.