Food and wine

Finalists announced for Foodie Awards Coventry & Warwickshire

The finalists in the first ever Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards have been announced.

Launched in 2020 amid the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, the inaugural Foodie Awards 2021 is a celebration of the best of the region’s food and drink scene.

Organised in partnership with Visit Coventry and Warwickshire County Council, it recognises some of the areas favourite food and drink businesses, from restaurants to coffee shops and producers to experiences. Three categories – which remain open until the end of the month – will also recognise businesses and individuals who went above and beyond during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Some 200 entries in the awards have been whittled down to 40 businesses that are now set to come under scrutiny from a panel of judges made up of some of the top names in the industry, including chef Glynn Purnell, Andreas Antona, owner of The Cross in Kenilworth, and Russell Allen, managing director of Aubrey Allen.

Foodie Awards

The winners will be announced at a Finalists and Supporters event in Coventry on July 22nd , which will also act as a curtain-raiser to the return of Coventry BID Food Festival weekend. Kicking off on Friday 23rd July, the festival will be headlined by Michelin Star chef Theo Randall and Lesley Waters and is aiming to host the largest selection of artisan food producers in the region.

Main Foodie Awards organiser Jonathan Smith, from Talk Business UK, said: “After the year we have all had, and especially for those across the food, drink and hospitality industry, I am so inspired by the positivity in the responses received from all those being told their business had been selected as a finalist in the inaugural Foodie Awards for Coventry and Warwickshire.

“Selecting the finalists in each category from the 200 entries received was a tough challenge and now the really hard work of deciding the category winners is left to our fantastic independent judges.”
He added: “To learn of the sacrifices made, the plans disrupted and changes everyone has had to make to their businesses is inspiring and I’m delighted to be part of the Foodie Awards and this recognition program that encourages everyone that their efforts were worth it.”

The remaining three categories – the COVID-19 Resilience Award backed by Visit Coventry; Food Champion Award, and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID – remain open until the end of March 2021. Judges for the Covid Resilience Award include entrepreneur, investor and speaker John Stapleton who provides advice and mentorship to growing businesses.

The Foodie Awards will also be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Trish Willetts, Coventry BID Director, said: “I was delighted to help shortlist the finalists for the inaugural Foodie Awards. There was an incredible calibre of entries, so I don’t envy the judges having to make the final decisions. This will be a wonderful event, celebrating the best of the foodie scene across Coventry and Warwickshire, and I’m very much looking forward to raising a glass to them all on the 22nd July!”

She added: “We are aiming to bring some additional joy and celebration into the city centre across the Food Festival weekend, with stalls across Broadgate, demonstrations from our amazing celebrity chefs – Theo and Lesley – and
some fantastic live music.”

For more information on the awards – or to enter the remaining three categories, visit https://foodieawards.co.uk

FOODIE AWARDS FINALISTS
Best Artisan Drink Producer
Dhillons Brewery, Coventry
Cotswolds Distillery, Stourton
Pinnock Distillery, Kineton
Welcombe Hills Vineyard, Stratford

Best Artisan Food Producer
Price’s Spices, Leamington
Miss Ellie’s of Coventry
Birtelli’s, Leamington
Bluebells Cottage Fudge & Nougat, Stratford

Best Café/Coffee Shop
Warwick Street Kitchen, Leamington
Bumbles, Studley
Bean and Leaf, Coventry

Jack’s Shack, Warwick

Chef/Cook of the Year
George Cambridge, of Warwick Street Kitchen, Leamington
Jay Alan, of Tumeric Gold, Coventry
Baabzi Miah, of Baabzi Indian Takeaway, Warwick
Tony Davis, of Gourmet Food Kitchen, Coventry
Tobias Reutt, of Earlsdon Supper Club

Best Food/Drink Experience
The Dice Box, Leamington
Coombe Abbey, Coventry
Gourmet Food Kitchen, Coventry
Bread For Life, Warwick
Earlsdon Supper Club, Coventry

Best Farm Shop
The Farm, Stratford
Hilltop Farm, Leamington
Farmers Fayre, Stoneleigh

Best Independent Business
Proof Bakery, Coventry
Procaffinate, Leamington
The Steamhouse, Leamington and Redditch

Newcomer Award
Pasta Brothers, Bishops Tachbrook
Meon Pizza, Meon Vale
Bramble Dining, Leamington
Mor Bakery, Stratford
Green Dragon, Coventry

Pub or Bar of the Year
Dhillons Brewery, Coventry
The Drawing Board, Leamington
The Yard, Coventry
The Virgins and Castle, Kenilworth

Restaurant of the Year
Tumeric Gold, Coventry
Oscars French Steakhouse and Bistro, Leamington
Harringtons on the Hill, Kenilworth
Tasca Dali, Warwick

Street Food Trader of the Year
Paneer Wrap
Bad Boys Burgers
Full of Chaat
Salt and Pepper’s
Stripclub Street Food