The launch of the first Hertfordshire Life Food and Drink Awards

PUBLISHED: 17:25 11 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:25 11 May 2016

Dover sole with lobster cake, crab ravioli, peas, corn and thermidor sauce (Photo: Brian Arnopp)

Dover sole with lobster cake, crab ravioli, peas, corn and thermidor sauce (Photo: Brian Arnopp)

brian arnopp

We are thrilled to launch the inaugural Hertfordshire Life Food and Drink Awards. Find out here how to nominate your favourite restaurants. outlets, cafes, farmshops, chefs, suppliers and growers

Beetroot tartar with grilled goats cheese crottin and port dressing (Photo: Brian Arnopp)Beetroot tartar with grilled goats cheese crottin and port dressing (Photo: Brian Arnopp)

Nominations are now open for the first Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards and this is your chance to tell us who you think should win.

We are delighted to announce the first Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards – 
a celebration of all that is great about our local food and drink industry and giving valuable recognition to a wide range of eateries, producers, growers, suppliers and food and drink outlets across the county.

To choose the very best in each of our categories we are looking to you, our readers, to nominate who you think deserves to win.

So if you have had a special meal in a Hertfordshire restaurant or pub, been impressed with the produce and service at a local farm shop or café or have a favourite food or drink that is produced in the county, then let us know.

There are 12 categories to enter, covering a broad range of activities across the food and drink industry, and remember, if your favourite isn’t entered, it can’t win!

Finalists will be selected by a panel of expert judges and the winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony at Sopwell House hotel in St Albans on Monday November 14.

Don’t forget to tell us why your nomination is so great. You can enter as many categories as you like.

Nominate your favourites at:


Restaurant of the Year

There is lots of fine dining in Hertfordshire – and perhaps for you this is what makes a fantastic restaurant. But don’t discount the local endeavour just around the corner that perhaps produces simple dishes but does them really well, has a great atmosphere and fantastic service. Does its menu shout local? Whether it’s big or small, give it your vote.

Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year

Judges of this category will be looking for a café, garden centre, museum or farm affiliated, which really meets the needs of its customers. Does it demonstrate attention to diners both in terms of its food offering, atmosphere, and the variety of menu for guests regardless of age?

Independent Retailer of the Year

The winner of this award will consistently show an expert knowledge and, like all our finalists, an unrivalled passion for their trade. It could be a deli, a wine and beer store, the village greengrocer, baker or something unique.

Pub of the Year

Whether it’s the food, the drink or the good company, we want to find out which is your favourite pub in the county. Tell us why you love it so much.

Outstanding Customer Service

Nothing makes a business stand out more than excellent customer service, no matter the size of the company. It could be a maitre d’, a hotelier, or the person serving behind the cheese counter at the deli: if they always greet you with a smile and know exactly what you want before you do, vote for them in this category.

Pride of Hertfordshire

This award recognises individuals who have promoted and worked with Hertfordshire produce for a number of years. It’s open to producers, as well as those who support them, who demonstrate a real passion for our county’s food and drink.

Food Education Award

This award champions the individuals, organisations or initiatives that help to educate either children or adults in the origins of their food and how they can do more to purchase and consume the best local produce and support our local farmers and producers. From schools with special projects to farmers opening their gates, this award aims to reward those that inspire and inform us about our produce.

Chef of the Year

This award aims to recognise those who show an exceptional awareness of produce and have the knowledge and expertise to use their ingredients to create sensational, seasonal menus – local sourcing is a bonus as always.

Newcomer of the Year

This award is open to anyone in the food or drink industry who has started a new venture within the past 18 months. We want to know what impact he or she has made on the local community and whether he or she has started to achieve success further afield.

Food & Drink Hero of the Year

This person will have made a lasting contribution to the food and drink community. It could be a celebrity, a critic, a barman, waiter or farmer. Who goes that extra mile to make a difference to local food and drink in Hertfordshire?

Best Local Industry Supplier

This category aims to celebrate our local suppliers and producers who play such a vital role in the food or drink community. The winner of this category can be an individual or company that consistently provides reliable, quality products to customers and is always looking for the opportunity to go further.

Services to the Community

Here we’re looking for food-led initiatives that aim to inspire local communities. Whether that’s vegetable boxes, community allotments or imaginative meals-on-wheels schemes, we’re looking for an idea that has really made a difference to others in Hertfordshire.

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