Finalists announced for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2018

It's great being your own boss, allowing myself to steal a couple of hours out of the studio on Monday, to toast the announcement of the finalists for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2018. The glorious sunshine and beautiful surroundings at the Bedlam Brewery and Albourne Estate made it even better, far better that staring at website code!

It was so nice to see where Bedlam Brewery do their thing (such lovely people too) and I had yet to discover their neighbours, Albourne Estate. It's a young vineyard a stone's throw from Brighton on the Sussex Downs and they have just released their first sparkling this year. The Blanc De Blancs (you know I love it) was lovely as was the elegant labelling with illustrations of wildlife commonly seen on the estate. Grab a glass if you can now it's available.

The full finalist listings are below but it's telling how good the Brighton restaurant scene is getting. Taking up a number of the nominated spots for the Sussex Eating Experience of the Year are some of the city's finest; 64 Degrees (natch), Issac At, The Set and Etch - particularly relevant as Steven Edwards won young chef of the year in 2010 at these awards. Seems to be doing alright for himself since! Also good to see so many other Sussex businesses that I value, a reminder of what a great region we live in for brilliant produce.

A whopping 13,000 votes were received last year and voting is now open so you can champion your favourite Sussex Food Businesses at this year's awards. You can vote here until 19 September:

The four categories that remain open for your own nominations are:
  • Young Sussex Farmer of the Year
  • Sussex Newcomer of the Year 
  • Sussex Young Chef of the Year
  • Sussex Street Food of the Year 
Sussex Eating Experience of the Year, sponsored by Blakes Foods
  • 64 Degrees, Brighton and Hove
  • Cowdray Farm Shop CafĂ©, Easebourne, West Sussex
  • etch., Brighton and Hove
  • Isaac At, Brighton and Hove
  • The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst, West Sussex
  • The Milk Churn, Rudgwick, West Sussex
  • The Parsons Table, Arundel, West Sussex
  • The Ram Inn, Firle, East Sussex
  • The Set, Brighton and Hove
  • Zari Restaurant and Lounge, Ifield, West Sussex
Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Southern Co-op
  • Bookham Harrison Farms, Rudgwick, West Sussex
  • Ginger’s Kitchen, Partridge Green, West Sussex
  • Just Brownies, Shipley, West Sussex
  • Lighthouse bakery & school, Robertsbridge, East Sussex
  • Nutbourne Nursery, Pulborough, West Sussex
  • Piglets Pantry, Worthing, West Sussex
  • Southdowns Honey, Lancing, West Sussex
  • Springs’ Smokery, Edburton, West Sussex
  • The Raw Chocolate Company, Henfield, West Sussex
  • The Real Pie Company, Crawley, West Sussex
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Natural PR
  • Bedlam Brewery, Albourne, West Sussex
  • Brighton Gin, Brighton and Hove
  • Chilgrove Spirits, Chilgrove, West Sussex
  • Gran Stead’s Ginger Co, Portslade, West Sussex
  • Hepworth and Co Brewers Ltd, Pulborough, West Sussex
  • Langham Brewery, Lodsworth, West Sussex
  • Plumpton Estate, Plumpton, East Sussex
  • Ridgeview Estate Winery, Ditchling Common, East Sussex
  • Tinwood Estate, Halnaker, West Sussex
  • Wobblegate, Bolney, West Sussex 
Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Wealden District Council
  • Barley Sugar artisan deli, Eastbourne, East Sussex
  • Crates Local Produce, Horsham, West Sussex
  • Eggs to Apples, Etchingham, East Sussex
  • Holmansbridge Farm Shop, Barcombe, East Sussex
  • Judges Bakery, Hastings, East Sussex
  • Oast Farm Shop, Buxted, East Sussex
  • Plaw Hatch Farm Shop, Sharpthorne, West Sussex
  • Rushfields Farm Shop, Poynings, West Sussex
  • The Sussex Produce Company, Steyning, West Sussex
  • Veasey and Sons Fishmongers, Forest Row, East Sussex
Sussex Butcher of the Year, sponsored by RP Meats Wholesale Ltd
  • Archers of Westfield, Westfield, East Sussex
  • Barfields Butchers, Brighton and Hove
  • Bramptons Butchers Ltd, Brighton and Hove
  • Garlic Wood Butchery, Steyning, West Sussex
  • J. Heath and Son, Eastbourne, East Sussex
  • May’s Farm Cart, Lewes, East Sussex
  • Michael Courtney Family Butchers, Midhurst, West Sussex
  • New Street Butchers & Deli, Horsham, West Sussex
  • Steyning Butchers, Steyning, West Sussex
  • Tablehurst Farm, Forest Row, East Sussex
Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harvey’s Brewery
  • Chichester Farmers Market, West Sussex
  • Horsham Markets, West Sussex
  • Lewes Farmers Market, Cliffe Precinct (monthly), East Sussex
  • Lewes Food Market, Market Tower (weekly), East Sussex
  • Shoreham Farmers Market, West Sussex
  • Steyning Farmers Market, West Sussex