Discover the tastiest food and drink from Kent – The Garden of England

Taste Kent Recommends

Time to Taste the Best of Kent 2019

Last Thursday 7th March was the Taste of Kent Awards at the Kent Event Centre, Detling Hill. It was a night of black tie glitz and glamour, Kent style. This is the fifteenth award ceremony and an exultant celebration of the very best food and drink that Kent has on offer, as voted by you.

A Sparkling reception with drinks povided by Biddenden Vineyards

Overall Food Product winner 2019 and winner of the dairy class went to Plurenden Manor Farm for its Farmhouse Butter. New farm focused restaurant, The Small Holding, situated in Kilndown won Best Restaurant and Barham Village Stores picked up best local food retailer. Doddington based SW Doughty picked up Best Butcher.

Tastiest Juice went to Big Love made by Biddenden Vineyards. Nim’s Fruit Crisps were double winners for their Apple Fruit Crisps and their innovative new Edible tea flavour Pineapple, Beetroot & Parsnip winner of specialist drink category too.

Guests recieved an apple each from sponsor A C Gotham & Son

This year, a new gong, Excellence Award for Customer service went to The Butchers Block pub in Burham. The team also collected the award for Kent Dining pub or Bistro of the Year. Overall Food Producer of the year went to
Precious Porkers, Collier Street.

The team from Café Nucleus in Chatham were delighted to collect the award for the Best Coffee Shop of Tea room of the year. 

Brothers Will (Head Chef) and Matt (Front of House) Devlin win Best Restaurant 2019

Kent Beer of year went to Reliant Robin made by Rocking Robin Brewery in Maidstone. And Kent Wine of the year went to Kits Coty Chardonnay from Chapel Down in Tenterden. And Kentish Pip picked up the Cider or Perry accolade for their High Diver. Ambient product went to Kentish Oils from Bridge for their cold pressed Rapeseed oil. And Boerewors Farmers Sausage from North Downs Real Food in Lenham won the best prepared food.

Stephanie Durling from Produced in Kent the organisation running the Taste of Kent Awards

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent comments:

“We are giving more awards as our range of winning categories has increased in recognition of Kent’s booming, vibrant and of course tasty food and drink sector.

“Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists, it is a fantastic achievement to have reached this stage, as the number of nominations and standards have been very high. Once again, we are delighted to see many new names making our finalist lists from across the county.

“Incredibly, we have seen 25% more businesses nominated and 40% more votes cast overall than last year.

“The people of Kent have chosen the flavours, products, produce and venues they have enjoyed the most over the last 12 months.”

There were farming focused winners too. 

The Farm Diversification Award went to Dudda’s Tun Cider, Doddington, whilst Hukins Hopsof Tenterden won Hop Grower of the Year. Garden of England Champions Top Fruitwent toJazz apples grown by Chris Levett, Baretilt Farm, Cranbrook and Concorde Pear – Grown by J L Baxter, Coxheath

The Kent Countryside Award (Large Farm) went to GL Boulden & Sons with Romney Marsh Wools and Romney Marsh Shepherd Huts, Aldington. The Kent Countryside Award (Small Farm) was taken home byHomestead Beef, Church Houghamnear Dover. A highly commended honour was bestowed to Courthope Farm, Shadoxhurst near Ashford.

The Garden of England Champion tastiest soft fruit and cherry winners as follows:

  • Cherries – Class 60 winner Brian Piper, Filmers Farm, Loose, Nr Maidstone with the variety Carmen.
  • Strawberries– Class 70 winner John Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm, Rochester with the strawberry variety Magnum.
  • Raspberries –  Class 80 winner Total World Fruit with the Raspberry variety Ovation.
  • Blackberries – Class 90 John Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm, Rochester with the Blackberry variety Incentive.

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AJ is a food writer, editor and PR.