Get your votes in to the 2022 Taste of Kent Awards before voting closes on 28th February.
With just a few days left until the public voting closes for the Taste of Kent Awards 2022 on 28th February, residents of Kent are showing overwhelming support for their favourite local food, tipple, café or pub. With almost 30,000 votes received so far and counting, there has also been more than 717 businesses nominated in this year’s awards, revealing
But that’s not the only good news for the longest-standing food and drink awards in the Southeast. The University of Greenwich, renowned for its focus on food tech, innovation and research into the creation of a more efficient and sustainable UK food system, and training the next generation of food experts, has come on board as the second head sponsor of the Taste of Kent Awards. Professor in Food Science and Nutrition, Nazanin Zand, of the University of Greenwich says “Initiatives such as TOKA are vital in our quest to create a sense of place here in the heart of the Garden of England, but also they are an effective way in promoting local product and supporting the businesses behind it”.
Whilst the The Taste of Kent Awards (TOKA) 2021 took place online as a live-streamed event, the 2022 edition returns to its former lustre with a sparkling black-tie dinner event at the Kent Show Ground on 12 May 2022. Over 450 movers and shakers in the Kent and Medway food and drink industry are expected to attend this exclusive event in recognition of the outstanding food and drink products and businesses in this county.
Produced in Kent’s Chief Executive Floortje Hoette comments, “the fantastic volume of votes received so far is clear proof that the popularity of local sustainable food and drink is rising – which is one of the very few positive outcomes of the pandemic. Today’s customers are passionate about supporting local, more tuned into ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint, actively looking for healthy alternatives to mass-produced food and drink and definitely more in touch with the countryside after two years of staycationing. We need to keep making people aware of the many ways in which the local independent food and drink sector touches our lives and TOKA is a fantastic vehicle to do that”.
The most popular categories are Kent Café of the Year and Kent Restaurant of the Year” Floortje continues, “which tells me the general public is rooting for the hospitality sector which suffered so much in the past two years and needs all the support it can get! I urge everyone to cast their vote and show our food and drink heroes how much we care. The exposure that finalists and winners in the 20 categories receive from the Taste of Kent Awards really helps to drive sales to their business – so go online www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk and vote today!”.
After the public voting closes on Monday the 28th of February at midnight, the Produced in Kent team and a group of dedicated judges consisting of foodie experts and sponsor representatives will work around the clock to count and verify votes. Amongst them will be John Farrand of the UK’s Great Taste Awards. On Monday the 15th of March, the three finalists in each category will be announced, followed by a food and drink judging event held in April and a series of virtual 1-2-1 interviews. The winners will be announced at the dinner in May.
Voting has never been easier:
- Visit the newly designed tasteofkentawards.co.uk website on your mobile phone, laptop or tablet
- Click the category you’d like to vote in and cast your vote
- If you can’t see the name of the business or product you’d like to vote for, simply add them in and vote
Besides head sponsors University of Greenwich and Southeastern Rail, the 2022 awards are also receiving fantastic support from sponsors AC Goatham & Son, Barretts, BTF Partnership, Crowe UK, Defined Wine, Furley Page, Gullands, Inside Kent, NFU Mutual Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield, Macknade, Shepherd Neame, South East Farmer Magazine, Southern Co-op and Thomas Snell & Passmore.
This year’s categories open for public voting, are as follows:
Kent Ambient Product of the Year
A product using ingredients which have been predominantly grown and/or produced in Kent, produced at a business based in Kent.
Kent Bakery or Confectionery Product of the Year
A bakery, confectionery, or snack, produced at a business based in Kent including ingredients grown in Kent.
Kent Beer of the year
Beer produced predominantly from hops grown in Kent at a brewery based in Kent.
Kent Café of the Year
A cafe, coffee shop or tea room that is actively using Kent sourced produce where and when seasonally available.
Kent Cider of the Year
Cider or Perry made from apples or pears predominantly grown in Kent at a business based in Kent.
Kent Dairy Product of the Year
A dairy product produced in Kent made predominantly from Kent ingredients.
Kent Dining Pub of the Year
A pub or bistro that is actively using Kent produce in its food & drink menu where and when seasonally available.
Kent Food Retailer of the Year
The local, independent retailer must sell a wide range of Kent produce/products. They will be required to provide details of the suppliers and product range for judging.
Kent Non-alcoholic Drink of the Year
A non-alcoholic drink produced by a business based in Kent. including ingredients grown in Kent or ingredients that have undergone a value-added process in Kent.
Kent Prepared Food of the Year
Prepared food made predominantly from produce and/or ingredients grown or produced in Kent, produced at a business based in Kent
Kent Restaurant of the Year
A restaurant that is actively using Kent produce where and when seasonally available.
Kent Spirit of the Year
A spirit produced at a business based in Kent including ingredients grown in Kent.
Kent Wine of the Year
Wine produced by a Kent based winery / vineyard from grapes grown in Kent, Sussex, Essex or Surrey.
The self-nominated award categories (not open for public voting) this year are:
Kent Food or Drink Business of the Year
Kent Diversification award
Kent Sustainable Food & Drink Award
Kent Farmer of the Year
Kent Start Up Food & Drink Business of the Year
New Kent Food & Drink Product of the Year
Kent Community Award