Published: 12:52, 17 March 2021
| Updated: 12:59, 17 March 2021
The shortlist for this year's Taste of Kent Awards has been revealed.
Organised by local food and drink champion, Produced in Kent, the public were invited to nominate their favourites in each of the categories.
More than 41,000 votes were received - up more than 200% on the previous year.
Now the top three finalists in each category will be subject to the judging panel before the winners are announced during a virtual award ceremony on Tuesday, May 11.
Floortje Hoette, chief executive of Produced in Kent, said: "The sheer number of votes received this year is astounding. We're blown away by the support from Kent residents to champion and celebrate their favourite local businesses.
"The numbers are unlike any we have seen before. 41,000 votes were counted this year compared to 13,000 last year.
"After the year everyone has lived through, this years' TOKA will be a celebration like no other."
The finalists are:
Kent Community Award Heroes
Emma from Emma's Kitchen, East Peckham
Paul & Rani Babra from Karara, Faversham/Canterbury
Ben from Modern Provider, Margate
Eli and Heather from Olbys Soul Café, Margate
Diversification Award (sponsored by NFU Mutual - Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield)
Foodari Home Delivery
The Meatball Company
Food and Drink Business of the Year (sponsored by Southeastern)
Grower of the Year (sponsored by NFU Mutual)
Sustainable Food and Drink Business of the Year (sponsored by Southeastern)
The Curious Eatery
Kent Ambient Product of the Year (sponsored by Southern Co-op)
Brisket and Barrel - Ketchup Smoké
Carringtons - Chillichup
Jam Face Jams - Chipotle and Habanero chilli jam
Kent Bakery and Confectionery Product of the Year (sponsored by Southern Co-op)
Beardy Baker - Chocolate Brownies
Dockers Bakery & Brewery - Sourdough Loaf
The Independent Baker - Classic Raspberry Jam Doughnuts
Kent Beer of the Year (sponsored by NFU Mutual)
Cellar Head Brewing Co - Session Pale Ale
Romney Marsh Brewery - Amber Ale
Wantsum Brewery - Hurricane
Kent Cider or Perry of the Year (sponsored by Southern Co-op)
Canterbury Cider Limited - Basher Original
Curious Brew - Curious Brew Apple
Dudda's Tun Cider - DISCO
Kent Dairy Product of the Year (sponsored by Southern Co-op)
Ben and Holly's Little Dairy - Whole Milk
Kingcott Dairy - Kentish Blue Cheese
Street Farm Dairy - Free Range Double Cream
Kent Distillery of the Year (sponsored by NFU Mutual)
Anno Distillers - Anno Kent Dry Gin
Copper Rivet Distillery - Dockyard Gin
Maidstone Distillery - George Bishop London Dry Gin
Kent Hospitality Business of the Year (sponsored by Southeastern)
The Ambrette, Canterbury
The Butchers Block, Burham
Cafe Nucleus, Rochester
Kent Non-Alcoholic Drink Product of the Year (sponsored by Southeastern)
Bean Smitten - Revive Blend
Garage Roasted - Maypole Blend Coffee
Lost Sheep Coffee - Get to the Hopper blend
Kent Prepared Food Product of the Year (sponsored by Southern Co-op)
Moons Green Charcuterie - Original Beer Sticks
Tankerton Smokeshed - Scottish Smoked Salmon
Worgans Farm Shop - Pork Pie
Kent Retail Business of the Year (sponsored by Southeastern)
Foodari Home Delivery
Kent Wine of the Year (sponsored by NFU Mutual)
Chapel Down - Bacchus
Herbert Hall Winery - Herbert Hall Brut Sparkling Wine
The Mount Vineyard - The Mount Vineyard Sparkling Rose 2015
Kent Food Product of the Year
The finalists and winner in this category will be announced at the virtual award ceremony on May 11.
The public can attend the virtual awards by registering for free tickets here.