by Alex Claridge
Producers from east Kent have won big at the annual Taste of Kent Awards.
Businesses from across the county took part in the 2010 awards, which are organised by local food champions Produced in Kent and culminated in an awards ceremony at Leeds Castle on Friday.
Julie Monkman, the manager of Produced in Kent, told the awards audience: “Each of these Taste of Kent Award winners, together with the finalists, is doing something amazing in this corner of England.
“The Taste of Kent Award 2010 winners are our county’s food and drink heroes and have put the Garden of England on the British food and drink map.
“Not only are these entrepreneurs growing, producing or working with local ingredients, but they are helping to revive and maintain traditional Kentish food and drink and centuries old production methods, but with cutting edge 21st century technology.”
The Kent Meat Retailer of the Year award was Godmersham Game from Mystole near Canterbury.
It specialises in meats like pheasant, partridge, wood pigeon, rabbit, hare and venison.
A closely-fought battle for Best Kent Brewery saw the Whitstable Brewery defeat former winners the Ramsgate Brewery.
The Whitstable Brewery specialises in custom made beers and is responsible for delightful tipples such as Oyster Stout and East India Pale Ale.
Faversham’s Macknade Fine Foods won the Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year for the second year in a row.
Judges were impressed with the range of produce at the food hall.
Meanwhile, the Kent Artisan Food Producer of the Year saw newcomer Corinne Goodman of Corinne’s Creative Kitchen, based in Selling near Faversham, win the award.
Bengali-born Corinne has come to the attention of connoisseurs for her Asian food made from local ingredients.
The Plough at Stalisfield Green, also near Faversham, won the Kent Dining Pub of the Year.
An authentic country pub with strong links to the local farming community, The Plough won the award for a second time.