Kent has a rich farming heritage and fantastic traditions for food, it is intertwined at every level in the county history.

Taking the opportunity to champion the continuing high standards of food production, the innovation and the passion Kent businesses show is so crucial. We should be incredibly proud of what we can experience within the borders of this garden of England.

The Kent Food and Drink Awards can open people’s eyes to new amazing experiences and pleasures and can remind others that the very best is already on our doorstep and we are incredibly blessed.

Food is available so easily from all over the world and that is wonderful but there is nothing that compares with the experience of fresh picked fruit and vegetables, of local cider, craft beer and fine wines. Living through the seasons in this glorious county is a wondrous treat, frost on branches in Autumn and Winter, parsnips lifted after the first frost, Jerusalem artichokes being unearthed, fruit off the branches. In spring we see wheat growing, blossom in the hedgerows and orchards, corn reaching for the sky. The seasons roll on and so does food production, beer, cider, wine, lavender and food aplenty. Spring lambs, calves, chickens, ducks, geese; drive down a country lane in this sometimes surprisingly private and quiet county and it’s amazing what you come across.

Everyone should sit down and eat a meal solely sourced from Kent produce and if you need any inspiration of what to cook then get some ideas from the many amazing eateries the county offers. From street food, Tea Rooms, local Pubs all the way to a wealth of Michelin starred restaurants we are spoilt for choice; how lucky are we?!

Please take a moment to champion the local businesses that you really appreciate, take a look at the Kent Life Food and Drink Awards and nominate away.

Everyone loves a little praise and appreciation in life. Local businesses will always be grateful just to have you patronise them, your business is crucial and most welcome and I’m sure you probably already make the staff and owners aware of your appreciation of them.

Voting for the businesses that are special to you raises the awareness of them to other customers and just as importantly allows businesses to be seen in review with their peers.

Champion great produce, innovation, passion and service and you also help to raise standards across the board.

I was very privileged to be part of the Judges Panel last year (2014) and discovered some amazing businesses thanks to the nominations readers made.

As I said afterwards, ‘ You only have to look at the joy on the winners faces to understand how much the customers recognition means to them, those running business with passion and commitment do it to provide something special for their customers and nothing is more rewarding than being recognised for it, knowing that in your chosen field you have excelled.’

Take a look at last years winners to see some amazing people. There were some equally fantastic runners up and lots of special businesses we expected to see but who weren’t featured so please vote and let people know who your favourite Kent Food champions are!

To make your vote count go to Kent Food and Drink Awards and celebrate the finest in Kent.


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