A celebration of the best of Coventry and Warwickshire’s food and drink scene is at the heart of a new awards program designed to support businesses as they re-emerge from lockdown.
The first Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Visit Coventry, lists among its guest judges Birmingham-born Michelin star chef Glyn Purnell and chef-turned-restaurateur Andreas Antona, founder of The Cross in Kenilworth.
Judges and public votes will decide on winners in several categories that focus on quality, service and innovation with an emphasis on farm to fork, including best artisan food and drink producers, farm shop, independent food and drink retailer, newcomer, street food trader and chef or cook of the year.
Three further special awards will also recognise the extraordinary efforts of businesses and individuals throughout the coronavirus pandemic – including the COVID-19 Resilience Award sponsored by Visit Coventry and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID. The Foodie Awards will also be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight foodbanks in Coventry and Warwickshire.
The next category under the spotlight on is COVID Resilience Award, sponsored by Visit Coventry.
This special award will go to a business or individual who can demonstrate how they have successfully not only adapted to, but thrived through the COVID-19 lockdowns with an innovative and out-of-the-box approach to their offering.
The category welcomes entries from across the board in the world of food and drink, from cafes to farms, producers to retailers and while recognising that all businesses have tackled unprecedented challenges during this period, will recognise one that really did beat all the odds to survive and even thrive.
“Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration at Coventry City Council said: “Given the massive challenges our food and drink businesses have faced this year, the COVID-19 Resilience Award couldn’t be a more appropriate category for Visit Coventry to support.
“Across our diverse hospitality sector, we’ve seen shining examples of creativity, adaptability and ambition, so we’re expecting a hard-fought battle. The judges will be looking for a business or individual who can demonstrate that they’ve successfully adapted throughout the pandemic.
“We know that all businesses have tackled unprecedented challenges during this terrible time, but this award will recognise one that really did beat all the odds to survive and even thrive.”
He added: “As the months of lockdowns and restrictions have gone by, more and more restaurants, cafes, producers and retailers have diversified their offerings in an effort to continue trading successfully and we’re seeing something new and inventive every single week. There’s still time to showcase these achievements, with entries to the COVID-19 Resilience Award not closing until 31st December. These awards will also remind us that there are still reasons to celebrate as we look forward to better times.”
For a full list of categories plus information on how to enter or become a sponsor, visit https://foodieawards.co.uk
Written by Amanda Chalmers