Tunbridge Wells fishmonger and restaurant both shortlisted for prestigious Taste of Kent award

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By kentsussex | Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 11:50

The three top names in each of the Taste of Kent Awards categories have just been announced - with Sankey's fishmongers and Thackeray's restaurant in Tunbridge Wells both in the running.

It is ahead of the glittering awards dinner at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Hollingbourne on Friday, March 8, when the ultimate winners will be revealed.

The Produced in Kent inspired awards attracted almost 14,500 votes from the general public, in the first round of voting, which amounted to an impressive 26% increase as consumers were keen to nominate Kent's food and drink heroes.

Voting in four of the categories proved so vibrant that the increase in the public vote rose by over 50% in 'Kent Butcher or Meat Producer of the Year', 'Best Kentish Cider or Perry', 'Best Kentish Wine' and 'Best Fishmonger of the Year'.

New manager Edwyn Martyn of Produced in Kent, the organisation behind the Taste of Kent Awards said: "Whilst we all might be tightening our financial belts in 2013, eating and drinking locally produced food and drink and enjoying quality food retail and dining out experiences in Kent remains a top priority in our county.

"It's clear from the leap in votes that consumers are putting our food and drink heroes at the top of the menu and want to see their excellence rewarded via the prestigious Taste of Kent Awards.

"The awards have been made possible by the overall sponsorship of Vertex Law, together with the backing of 15 other category sponsors and we would like to thank them all for their tremendous support."

The 2013 awards have seen a number of food and drink businesses making the top three in their award categories for the first time.

These include The Globe & Rainbow in Kilndown in the Opies sponsored 'Kent Dining Pub of the Year', Canterbury-based Wantsum Brewery with its Dynamo brew in the 'Best Kentish Beer', Farmer Palmer from Egerton in the sff (Stephens Fresh Foods) sponsored 'Kent Butcher or Meat producer of the Year', Little Stour Orchard of Margate in the Kent County Council sponsored 'Best Kent Juice Producer' and Thackeray's in the Visit Kent sponsored category 'Kent Restaurant of the Year'.

It could also be two years in a row for four of 2012's winners with Biddenden Vineyards, Chapel Down, Mama Feelgoods and Ramsgate Brewery all in contention for a 2013 award; whilst previous winner Cliftonville in the Hadlow College sponsored 'Kent Farmers' Market of the Year' going head to head with new finalists, Tonbridge and Elm Court.

In the five self-nominating Kent Food Product Category Awards, entries are well up on 2012 which looks set to keep the tasting panels very busy during the judging.

Finally the 'Kent Food, Farming and Landscape Award' introduced for the first time in 2012 makes a popular return with the High Weald AONB and Kent Downs AONB sponsored award set to reward the exemplary achievements of food producers or farmers who make real contributions to the conservation and enhancement of Kent's fine landscapes.

In addition to Vertex Law, first time sponsorship from Shopper Anonymous, BTF Partnership and Chapmans of Sevenoaks, adds to a loyal list of Taste of Kent Awards backers that include Biddenden Vineyards, Chapel Down Winery, Hadlow College, Kent County Council, Kent Life, kff (Kent Frozen Foods), NFU Mutual, Opies, sff (Stephen's Fresh Foods), Wilkins Kennedy, Shepherd Neame and Visit Kent.

The Taste of Kent Awards is also delighted to have the media support of BBC Radio Kent, insideKENT and Archant KOS Media.

The move of the glittering Taste of Kent Awards Dinner to the larger venue at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Hollingbourne on the evening of Friday 8 March 2013 has meant that more people can be part of this stunning evening, as the winners in each category are revealed.

Tickets are £90 including a Kentish sparkling wine reception on arrival, a three- course dinner, wine, coffee, chocolates and the awards night.

Table discounts are available on tables of 8-10 people.

Please contact Produced in Kent for details 01732 853170 or info@producedinkent.co.uk.

Follow the competition on www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk

WEST KENT NOMINEES:

BEST KENTISH BEER: CURIOUS BREW – CHAPEL DOWN - TENTERDEN

BEST KENTISH WINE: FLINT DRY -CHAPEL DOWN WINERY - TENTERDEN

BEST KENTISH WINE: ORTEGA 2010 – BIDDENDEN VINEYARDS - BIDDENDEN

BEST KENTISH CIDER OR PERRY - BIDDENDEN STRONG KENTISH CIDER – BIDDENDEN VINEYARDS - BIDDENDEN

BEST KENT JUICE PRODUCER - BIDDENDEN VINEYARDS - BIDDENDEN

KENT FISHMONGER OF THE YEAR - SANKEY'S in TWells

KENT RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR - THACKERAY'S in Twells

KENT DINING PUB OF THE YEAR - THE GLOBE & RAINBOW in Kilndown

KENT FARMERS' MARKET OF THE YEAR - TONBRIDGE

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