THE finalists for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2020 have been announced and public voting is now open to crown the annual victor in the categories such as Farmers Market, Food Producer and Eating Experience of the Year.

Nominees for the 14th year of the awards include Brighton Gin and Brighton Bier in the Drink Producer of the Year category; markets at Shoreham, Worthing and Lewes in the Farmers Market category; and Semolina, etch and Shoreham’s Into The Blue in the Eating Experience of the Year Category.

Ten finalists have been named in each of the six categories. A public vote will now narrow each category down to three grand finalists, who will be invited to a “BAFTA-style ceremony” and a seven-course Sussex produce banquet at the Amex Stadium on April 29 2020.

“Sussex is blessed with a wealth of amazing food and drink producers,” said the organisers. “Over the last 14 years the Sussex Food and Drink Awards have helped enormously to support and boost local farmers, food and drink producers and the outlets that serve and sell this superb local fare.”

The Grand Finalists have been announced in the Best Sussex Street Food Category.

Mann & Moore from Horsham in West Sussex, Pizza Leonati from Ninfield in East Sussex, and The BBQ Project from St Leonards in East Sussex, were all chosen and received high praise from Michelin starred executive chef Jean Delport from Restaurant Interlude in Horsham.

“It has been fantastic with all the street food vendors showing huge diversity and individual style,” he said.

“They are all passionate and invested in what they are creating and the dishes we have tasted have been packed full of flavour.

“The atmosphere has been wonderful and I’ve been so impressed with the high standard that has been presented to us with the emphasis on using wonderful local Sussex produce.”

Last year, Brighton’s Real Patisserie won Sussex Food Producer of the Year, the widely-acclaimed Cowdray Farm Shop in Midhurst won in the Food Shop category, and 22-year-old Isabella Raccagna was announced as the first female ever to win Sussex Young Chef of the Year.

More than 18,000 public votes were received to decide the 2019 awards. Local dairy farmer, Nuffield scholar and chairman of the expert judging panel, William Goodwin, is hoping that even more people will cast their votes this year.

“What an exciting line up of finalists we have for 2020,” he said. “I’m delighted to see some new names as well as those more familiar on the list this year.

“The bar is raised higher each year in these unique awards, making the public vote a vital part of the judging process and who makes it through as a grand finalist.

“It only takes a minute or two and can really make a difference.”

Entries for the Sussex Newcomer of the Year, Young Chef of the Year and Young Farmer of the Year remain open until January 3.

Voting is open now online at