Last night the cream of the Kent food and drink scene gathered to find out who has proved to be flavour of the year.
The Taste of Kent Awards are always highly anticipated by the shortlisted companies, of course, as they wait to see if they will receive the coveted seal of aproval. The delight of the winners was immediately apparent, judging by the flurry of social media activity on the night and the day after.
Every business wants to win praise and acclaim, whatever the industry, not least for the extra publicity and kudos that such accolades can attract. Awards are a public declaration that your business is doing alright and even standing head and shoulders above the crowd. When it’s voted for by consumers - Produced in Kent invites the public to nominate their favourite foodie businesses for shortlisting - the honour has even more value, as it’s a way of measuring exactly how highly your paying customers rate you.
But I believe that reputable awards schemes are encouraging for the consuming public too, particularly when the entries are of such evident high quality. The ever-growing, ever-evolving face of Kent’s food and drink industry is representative of the independent gourmet revolution that seems to be going on all over the country, with consumers demanding more for their money. By ‘more’, I mean more provenance, more quality and more ethical credentials.
With new players emerging all the time, the winners’ announcement may be the first time that many potential customers have come across some of these artisan producers. If you enjoy discovering new flavours, Kent is a pretty good place to be at the moment - and that’s got to be worth celebrating.
You can see the full list of Taste of Kent 2016 winners here http://www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk/winners-2016/