The finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards have been unveiled.

The new Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Warwickshire County Council, Coventry BID and Visit Coventry, is a celebration of the best of the region’s food and drink scene as they re-emerge from the pandemic year.

More than 40 food and drink businesses across the region will now come under the scrutiny of a panel of judges made up of some of the top names in the industry, including chef Glynn Purnell, appearing alongside his former employer Andreas Antona, owner of The Cross in Kenilworth, and Russell Allen, managing director of Aubrey Allen.

Also on the judging panel will be food blogger Chris Hardy AKA ‘The Fat Foodie.’

All the finalists are now invited to 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 is aiming to host the largest selection of artisan food producers in the region and will be headlined by Michelin Star chef Theo Randall and Lesley Waters, who is well known for her cookery books, and television appearances on Ready Steady Cook (BBC), Great Food Live (UKTV), and This Morning (ITV).

Main Foodies organiser Jonathan Smith, of 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 finalists are:

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

There is still time to enter the three remaining special awards which will also recognise businesses and individuals who went above and beyond during the Coronavirus pandemic – the COVID-19 Resilience Award backed by Visit Coventry; Food Champion Award, and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID.

Judging the Covid Resilience Award will be entrepreneur, investor and speaker John Stapleton who established and grew consumer-led businesses in the UK and USA. He now provides advice and mentorship to growing businesses.

Nominations deadline for these is Wednesday, March 31st. For more information on the awards – or to enter the remaining three categories, visit:

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.”

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