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

Kent News

Kent Crowns its Food & Drink Heroes for 2022: The Taste of Kent Award winners announced

In a glitzy ceremony at the Kent Event Centre last night – the first since 2020, the winners of Kent’s food and drink Oscars equivalent, The Taste of Kent Awards, were announced in a joyous in-person gathering of the finalists.

Produced in Kent’s annual flagship award event sees the coming together of the finest producers, farmers, retailers, and hospitality businesses for a celebration of the best in the Garden of England. Following the first round of public voting to determine the finalists, it was down to industry specialists to judge the best tasting creations from across the county.

Attendees enjoyed a fabulous 3 course meal created by The Curious Eatery, as well as cocktails & treats from finalists Wild Box, The Cheesemakers of Canterbury, Kingcott Dairy and Solley’s Ice Cream.

Last night, on Thursday 12th of May, 400 guests gathered to watch the crowning of Kent’s food and drink champions: featuring honey, cheese, ale, cider, and pies among the winning products. While the winning retailers, pubs and restaurants traversed the entire map of Kent.

The Small Holding, winners of the Restaurant of the Year

The winners

  • The Small Holding in Kilndown scooped the prestigious Restaurant of the Year award with the judges describing it as an unforgettable rural delight.
  • The Kent Sustainable Food & Drink Award went to restaurant and rural event venue, Frasers. The judges praised their sustainability efforts in working with a network of partners to champion the business as an ‘environmental and educational resource’.
  • Provenance Potatoes took home the Kent Food and Drink Business Award after being recognised for linking local farms and using innovative solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.
Provenance Potatoes scooped Kent Food or Drink Business of the Year

After enormous support for Kent food and drink during the recent pandemic, Floortje Hoette, Chief Executive of Produced in Kent, is delighted to see that the public’s support for local remains high and applauded the outstanding standard of this year’s finalists.

“The judges and I were blown away by the exceptional quality of food and drink we have here in Kent, and it’s wonderful to see the support for buying local hasn’t faded post-pandemic” explains Floortje.

The importance of food & drink in the county
Known as the Garden of England, Kent still plays a pivotal role in the food & drink economy, with the national food and drink industry contributing £30bn[1] to the economy annually. Having survived a turbulent couple of years, the Taste of Kent finalists have had to adapt, pivot, and diversify to thrive and are now adjusting to the new economic challenges ahead.

Recognised as a public endorsement of the best food and drink in Kent, the Taste of Kent Awards aim to drive new interest and growth for the producers, retailers, farmers, pubs and restaurants in Kent.

Speaking about the winners and finalists this year, Floortje Hoette says “they have shown innovation, diversification, sustainable practices, and immense talent within their specialist fields, it makes me enormously proud to spotlight these Kent businesses. I’d like to add a special thank you to the headline sponsors of this year’s event, Southeastern and The University of Greenwich, without which the finalists would not have had their moment in the limelight and the awards would not have been possible.” 

Floortje Hoette, CEO of Produced in Kent

Supporting Food Friends
This year, Produced in Kent are supporting Food Friends as their nominated charity.  Food Friends work to combat social isolation and loneliness in communities through food and friendship. During the awards evening, a raffle was held with tickets to The Wine Garden of England Summer Festival, and The Wine Weekend as the prize. All proceeds will be donated to Food Friends.

The Taste of Kent Awards 2022 winners are:

Kent Ambient Product of the Year

Winner: Bray’s Bees

Product: Honey

Location: Ditton, Aylesford

Sponsored by: Crowe UK

Kent Bakery or Confectionery Product of the Year

Winner: Macie Cakes

Product: Salted Caramel Millionaires Shortbread

Location: Herne Bay

Sponsored by: A C Goatham & Sons

Kent Beer of the Year

Winner: Cellar Head Brewing Company      

Product: Session Pale Ale

Location: Tunbridge Wells

Sponsored by: NFU Mutual Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield

Kent Cider of the Year

Winner: Turners Cider          

Product: Apple Pie Cider

Location: Marden

Sponsored by: A C Goatham & Sons

Kent Dairy Product of the Year

Winner: Kingcott Dairy

Product: Kentish Blue

Location: Staplehurst

Sponsored by: BTF Partnership

Kent Non-Alcoholic Drink of the Year

Winner: Biddenden Vineyards

Product: Sparkling Apple Juice

Location: Biddenden

Sponsored by: Barretts

Kent Prepared Food Product of the Year

Winner: Yes Chef

Product: Steak & Blue Cheese Pie

Location: Aylesford

Sponsored by: Macknade

Kent Spirit of the Year

Winner: Copper Rivet Distillery

Product: Damson Gin

Location: Chatham

Sponsored by: Gullands Solicitors

Kent Wine of the Year

Winner: Balfour Winery

Product: Balfour Brut Rosé

Location: Staplehurst

Sponsored by: Furley Page and NFU Mutual Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield

Kent Cafe of the Year

Winner: Aunt Sally’s Kitchen

Location: Maidstone

Sponsored by: Thomson Snell & Passmore

Kent Dining Pub of the Year

Winner: The Butcher’s Block

Location: Burham

Sponsored by: Thomson Snell & Passmore    

Kent Restaurant of the Year  

Winner: The Small Holding

Location: Kilndown

Highly Commended: The Bao Baron, Folkestone

Sponsored by: Thomson Snell & Passmore

Kent Food Retailer of the Year

Winner: Detling Community Store

Location: Detling

Sponsored by: Barretts

Kent Community Award

Winner: Communigrow

Location: East Malling

Sponsored by: Crowe UK

Kent Diversification Award

Winner: Reuthe’s

Location: Sevenoaks

Highly Commended: The Buoy & Oyster, Margate

Sponsored by: Gullands Solicitors

Kent Farmer of the Year

Winner: Loddington Farm

Location: Maidstone

Runner Up: Nonington Farm, Goodnestone

Highly Commended: G L Boulden & Sons, Romney Marsh

Sponsored by: BTF Partnership

Kent Food or Drink Business of the Year

Winner: Provenance Potatoes

Location: Deal

Sponsored by: Southern Coop

Kent Start-up Food & Drink Business of the Year

Winner: Anne’s Restaurant

Location: Folkestone

Sponsored by: Furley Page

Kent Sustainable Food & Drink Award

Winner: Frasers

Location: Egerton

Sponsored by: Shepherd Neame

New Kent Food & Drink Product of the Year

Winner: Curd & Cure

Product: Rescue Range Broccoli & Stilton Soup

Location: Staplehurst

Sponsored by: Southern Coop

Kent’s Tastiest Apple 2021

Winner: Elverton Farms Ltd  

Product: Gala

Location: Faversham

Sponsored by: South East Farmer

Kent’s Tastiest Pear 2021
Winner: B Piper Partnership
Product: Concorde
Location: Maidstone
Sponsored by: South East Farmer

Kent’s Tastiest Cherry 2021
Winner: A C Hulme & Sons   
Product: Penny variety
Location: Canterbury
Sponsored by: South East Farmer

Kent’s Tastiest Raspberry 2021
Winner: R C Boucher & Sons
Product: Driscoll’s Zara variety
Location: Sittingbourne
Sponsored by: South East Farmer                  

Kent’s Tastiest Strawberry 2021

Winner: John Myatt & Co     

Product: Nobility variety
Location: Rochester

Sponsored by: South East Farmer


[1] https://www.fdf.org.uk/fdf/business-insights-and-economics

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