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Launch event celebrates food and drink festival in Brighton and Hove
The cream of the city’s food and drink businesses will go head-to-head to take top honours.
The award finalists were unveiled at the launch of the Brighton and Hove Food and Drinks Festival yesterday.
Former Coronation Street villain Brian Capron put in an appearance at the event at Hotel du Vin in Ship Street following his exit from TV’s Masterchef on Wednesday night.
160,000 visitors The festival, which runs in the spring and autumn, attracts more than 160,000 visitors and is worth £4.6 million to the city.
More than 1,800 members of the public submitted around 11,000 nominations across 12 categories in the awards.
The top three nominations in each category were visited by secret shoppers drawn from the city.
The grand final will be held on September 15 in the Live Food Show marquee on Hove Lawns.
One of the most hotly contested gongs is for best newcomer.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas
The shortlisted restaurants are Bellota in North Street, La Choza in Gloucester Street and Betty La La’s in St James’s Street.
Aoife Sweeney and Annie Gelpey, business partners at La Choza, said: “It’s been an amazing first year.
“We are planning to expand and have two restaurants in the city because it’s hard to for us to find room for everyone who wants to come.
“It’s great to have the support of the food festival.”
Ben McKellar, owner of the Gingerman group of restaurants, is up for two awards – best food pub and food hero.
He said: “Food and drink is Brighton and Hove is going from strength to strength.
“The festival allows people to come together to make it even better.”
Festival director Nick Mosley said: “We have a food and hospitality industry to be very proud of, with it being one of the main reasons why visitors come to the city.
“It’s clear from the award nominations that Brighton people are passionate about great food and drink and proud of the extensive offering in Brighton and Hove.”
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