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Nominate Now: Velvet’s Food & Drink Awards are back for 2024

Know a local foodie who deserves a pat on the back? Nominate them in Velvet’s hit Food & Drink Awards: launched last year, to celebrate the people and places making our area a more delicious place, they are back for a second year. . .

This year's awards are headline sponsored by TR Events + Catering
This year's awards are headline sponsored by TR Events + Catering

Welcome to the 2024 Velvet Food & Drink Awards! Back for their second year, these awards are designed to give credit where the residents of our area - that’s YOU - genuinely consider it due.

Once again, we’re asking members of the public to nominate their favourites in each of our 12 categories: Producer, Farm Shop/Deli, Pub/Bar, Tearoom/Coffee Shop, Street Food/Pop-up, Restaurant, Chef, Food Hero, Sustainability Hero, Equality Hero, Hospitality Hero and Community Hero - find the full details for each category HERE.

Any business or individual working within Velvet’s circulation area (see map HERE) is eligible and nominating is easy: click HERE and fill in the swift and simple form, telling us what makes your favourite/s stand out from the culinary crowd. (If you need a little nudge: in entering, your name will automatically go into a draw to win a dinner-and-drinks voucher for two.)

You’ve got between 1am on March 26 2024 and midnight on May 3 2024 to get your nominations in. The three businesses or individuals with the most nominations per category will then be shortlisted and the winners chosen by a panel of independent, industry-expert judges.

Together with our sponsors - including our new headline sponsor TR. Events & Catering, a division of TR Global Events which “takes your events to the next level with exceptional catering services” - we will then announce those winners at a special champagne-and-canape reception at Newmarket’s historic Jockey Club Rooms, taking place on the afternoon of Monday, June 10.

So whether you’ve got a soft spot for a particular bakery’s buns, swear the coffee in your local cafe can’t be beaten or book every special–occasion meal at a specific restaurant, we want to hear from you! These awards are YOUR awards, so get those nominations in. . .

There are 12 categories in this year's awards
There are 12 categories in this year's awards

Street Food/Pop-Up of the Year
Open to street food vans, pop-up restaurants and kitchen takeovers, this award will go to a business which brings fun, flair and lots of flavour to the local menu, whether they’re flipping crepes, topping tacos, building Buddha bowls or scooping gelato.

Tearoom/Coffee Shop of the Year
Manna Seoul
With our area home to numerous outstanding tearooms, coffee shops and cafes - and more opening every month - this is set to be a hotly contested category. The winner will provide excellent food, drink, service and ambiance.

Farm Shop/Deli of the Year
Martin & Co
We’re looking for stores which sell the highest quality local, seasonal and speciality goods, are staffed by knowledgeable and helpful teams, and provide a welcoming atmosphere too - all of which turns the weekly shop from chore to pleasure.

Pub/Bar of the Year
Thomas Ridley

All pubs and bars are eligible, no matter what their theme or style, but good vibes and excellent drinks are essential. There must be something which sets this venue above the rest, whether it doubles as a community hub or simply serves best-in-class beer.

Restaurant of the Year
Kale & Damson
The winner of this category will offer all-round excellence, topping the charts with its menu, drinks list, service and venue. It will be distinctive too; setting rather than following culinary trends.

Producer of the Year
Howes Percival
From cottage industries to large-scale manufacturers, this category is open to all producers, whether they are growing fruit and veg, brewing their own beer, roasting their own coffee, baking bread or making cakes. The winner will be driven by both a personal passion and stellar professional standards.

Chef of the Year
Kale & Damson
If you know a chef whose menus always delight and never disappoint, this is their category. The top spot will go to someone who’s pushing culinary boundaries, whether innovating with new flavours, textures, techniques or zero-waste menus, and inspiring both diners and the next generation of chefs along the way.

Food & Drink Hero
Sponsor: T
he Jockey Club Rooms
The winner of this award will be absolutely outstanding at what they do. Whatever food and drink role they play, what marks them out is the excellence they deliver and their willingness to champion the talents of others as well as their own.

Sustainability Hero
Open to both businesses and individuals, this category celebrates green trail-blazers within the local food industry. Whether they source solely local ingredients to curb food miles, turn leftovers into innovative dishes to combat waste or fuel their ovens via green energy, they are setting standards not only here and now, but for the future.

Equality Hero
Newmarket Racecourses
With almost 20% of people in the UK now living in food insecurity - forced to either cut meals or go whole days without eating because they can’t access or afford food - the winner of this award is helping fight this inequality, whether via food bank, community fridge or fundraising.

Hospitality Hero
Cameron Hotel Collection
This category shines a light on businesses across the hospitality spectrum. The winner will provide excellent customer service and a unique experience - and will always be evolving and innovating to keep loyal customers engaged and attract new audiences.

Community Hero
Whether it’s raising money for a chosen charity, planting trees for numbers of tables booked or takeaways ordered, providing safe and warm spaces for people to eat or drink, or turning leftovers into meals for those in need, this category celebrates the food businesses doing great things to give back locally.

Nominate Now!
Head to
velvetfooddrinkawards.co.uk to nominate your favourite in each of our 12 categories - and your name will automatically be entered into a draw to win a dinner-and-drinks voucher for two. . .

Velvet Food & Drink Awards 2024 - Sponsors & Partners
Velvet Food & Drink Awards 2024 - Sponsors & Partners

Thank You
A big thank you goes to our sponsors, without whom these awards would not be possible. We’d also like to thank our Networking Partner Grub Club Cambridge, which hosts events throughout the year and across the area for people in, associated with or supplying the food and drink industry (see grubclubcambridge.co.uk), and Broadcast Partner Star Radio, the local radio station which broadcasts across our area to around half a million people (see star.radio).

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