Devon Life Food & Drink Awards 2018: Nominations are now open

PUBLISHED: 10:38 10 July 2018

Devon Life Food & Drink Awards 2018 - get your nominations in!

Devon Life Food & Drink Awards 2018 - get your nominations in!


The Devon Life Food & Drink Awards - to be held at Sandy Park on 15 November - are back and we want you to nominate your local heroes

The Devon Life Food & Drink Awards, to be held at Sandy Park on 15 November, will champion the county’s local food and drink heroes and recognise the extraordinary contribution these businesses – great and small – contribute to our local economy.

From butchers, bakers, brewers and chefs to independent retailers and food champions – we want you to nominate your favourites.

Does your local tea shop offer the best cream tea for miles?

Is there a locally-produced drink that you are proudly serving at your dinner parties? Does your local restaurant offer a sublime dining experience?

Do you know a local chef who deserves recognition for devoting themselves to the cause of serving the best possible food?

There has never been a better time to support your local food and drink scene, so please nominate those people, products and business which are helping to put Devon on the map.

Nominate your food and drink heroes online at our awards website before Monday 17 September 2018

Click here to see all of last year’s winners

2018 Devon Food & Drink Hero – Sponsored by Darts Farm

Devon has a food scene which is more vibrant than many others across the UK. This category celebrates the individual who has made the most impact on the food community – someone who goes the extra mile to promote Devon to a wider audience and is passionate about local produce throughout. Now is your chance to nominate your Devon Food Hero.

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Best Devon Sunday Roast – Sponsored by

This is a newer category introduced to champion one of the nation’s favourite dishes. Vote for your Best Devon Roast Dinner, whether served in a country pub, city hotel, restaurant or staff canteen, what counts is the produce is locally sourced and is cooked and served perfectly!

Best Drinks Product of the Year – Sponsored by Stage Engage

This is your opportunity to nominate your favourite drink – made by a Devon farm producer, retailer or manufacturer. Consider the innovativeness of the item and whether this was achieved without compromising on its taste, indulgence and value for money.

Best Hotel Restaurant of the Year – Sponsored by Savills

This category enables our numerous hotel restaurants to stand out from the crowd. We are looking for venues that offer a sublime dining experience with fantastic food, drink and superb service. Do you still go out of your way to eat there, even if you are not staying overnight?

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Local Producer of the Year

This category celebrates our local producers that play such a vital role in the food community. We are looking for an individual or company who consistently provides reliable, quality products and services to their customers. We want to know why they go the extra mile for you and what they bring to your meals.

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Best Restaurant of the Year – Sponsored by Westchem

The winner of this category will be the restaurant that – in the judges’ opinion – offers the best dining experience. It’s not just that it serves the most delicious and well-cooked food. Everything from the décor, the service, the food, the wine list and those little finishing touches that make dining such a pleasure, will be judged for this prestigious award.

Best Tea/Coffee Shop of the Year

We recognise that tea shops and coffee shops are an integral part of the Devon food and drink scene and we’d like to know your favourites. Who makes the best tea or coffee? Is it tea bags or leaves? Is it instant or freshly ground? Who serves the nicest cakes or the best scones? Is the jam homemade and are the sandwiches freshly cut? We’re looking forward to hearing about your favourites.

Chef of the Year – Sponsored by Arthur David

The Chef of the Year is someone who has devoted themselves to the cause of serving the best possible food. Technical ability, use of seasonal ingredients, presentation of the food and understanding of how flavours work together, these are some of the things the chefs nominated will be judged on. This category pits the finest Michelin¬starred chefs against those working the local bistro.

Customer Service Award – Sponsored by Salcombe Distilling Co

This award is designed to praise a local food or drink business for their excellent awareness of their customers’ needs. Vote for an establishment where nothing is too much trouble, where they are always willing to help and where attention to detail is key.

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Family Dining Award – Sponsored by Sandy Park

Judges of this category will be looking for a restaurant, café or pub which really meets the needs of family dining, by demonstrating attention to the requirements across the generations of diners both in terms of its food offering, atmosphere, entertainment, sense of theatre, and the variety of menu for guests regardless of age. The award reflects the whole experience, so is aimed at establishments that place a great emphasis on standards of service, both front of house and in the food preparation, as well as having that “certain something” which makes it appeal to the whole family.

Independent Food Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by NFU Mutual Plymouth

Vote for your favourite local food retailer in this category, look out for establishments that genuinely supply items produced and grown here in Devon. This food shop must have a genuine passion for our Devon food scene and a dedication to what it means for the local community.

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Newcomer of the Year – Sponsored by FSB

This popular category is open to anyone in the food or drink business who has started a new business venture within the last 18 months. It could be any food and drink business – we want to know what impact they have made on the local community and whether they have started to achieve any success further afield. Are they helping to promote Devon food and drink to a new audience?

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Pub of the Year – Sponsored by WBW Solicitors

The whole eating out experience needs to be taken into account in this category.

Judge customer service, value for money and the quality of the food. How well does the establishment use and name local suppliers and seasonal produce? Is there a distinctive menu which gives stand¬alone restaurants a run for their money?

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Best Food Product of the Year – Sponsored by Salcombe and Dartmouth Holiday Homes

This category is open to all types of food. We are looking for companies or individuals who connect with their communities and use good quality ingredients to provide an excellent finished product.

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Visit our dedicated awards website to nominate in any of the 2018 categories by telling us who, what, where and why they get your vote



It is not just the quantity of votes we look at but the quality of the nominations are also very important.

Once voting has closed our panel of independent judges will use a set of strict criteria to shortlist our finalists for these awards.

A judge will then visit each of the three finalists in each category to determine our 2018 winners


All finalists will be invited to join us at the prestigious black¬tie awards dinner on November 15, at Sandy Park, where our winners will be announced


Headline Sponsor – Darts Farm

Darts Farm is the home of local West Country food & drink with luxury gift, home and lifestyle products all under one roof. The award-winning farm shop is brimming with seasonal artisan produce and a strong emphasis on food that is locally grown, reared, baked or caught.

There is an on-site master butchers, fishmonger, delicatessen, cider maker and restaurant making for a fabulous day out. Darts Farm has a fantastic lifestyle shopping experience to offer; a compilation of carefully handpicked specialist retailers and small independent boutiques nestled in the rural town of Topsham on the Exe Estuary.

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Headline Sponsor – NFU Mutual Plymouth

NFU Mutual and NFU Mutual Plymouth are proud to be supporting the Devon Life Food & Drink Awards 2018. Darren Seward, Food and Drink specialist said “we have a proud tradition of providing insurance, financial planning and risk management services for Devon’s businesses.

Food and Drink businesses are vital to our economy and we are dedicated to building valuable, long¬term relationships within the industry. From production to retailing and catering trades, we pride ourselves on our range of insurance protection. With a personal local service we work with you to ensure your most valuable assests are protected should the unthinkable happen.

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Westchem – Making Hygiene Easy

We are the largest independent regional supplier of industrial detergents in the south west. Westchem offer a wide range of cleaning products that meet stringent environmental criteria for Kitchens, Housekeeping and Laundry in the catering and care sectors.

With over three decades formulating unique cleaning products for professional use, why not contact us today and sample for yourself our unique products and our award winning service which includes super-fast delivery and amazing staff training packages.


For investors, owners and operators alike, the hotels and leisure industry faces singular and extraordinary pressures. Our team at Savills understand some of these pressures and they know the role property plays at the heart of any hotel or leisure based business.

This knowledge, as well as our access to the expertise of Savills property professionals the world over, means our clients get the best possible advice, whether they have a single asset or a wide portfolio.

In the west country our experienced agents specialise in structuring, managing and completing deals. Martin Rogers runs the Hotel and Leisure department for the west country. With over 30 years experience of the hotel and leisure market, living and working in the west country, he has a wealth of knowledge of the area and the tourism industry.

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If you’re thinking about letting out your holiday home, choosing a company who can maximise your bookings and income comes high on the priority list. But we know it’s not the only thing that matters.

You need to know your property is in safe hands, that you’re valued as a customer and that there’s expert advice on tap to help you get the best out of your investment. With, you get all this and much more.

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Arthur David

Arthur David, ‘Food With Service’ is a family run Food Service Distribution company that has been supplying the catering industry (including pubs and fine food restaurants) for the past 50 years.

Customer Service is a term that has become synonymous with Arthur David as we pride ourselves on offering unrivalled Customer Service. So therefore we say Leave It With Us!

We are delighted to sponsor Chef of the Year at the Devon Life Food and Drink Awards. We would love to work with more of the nominees on a daily basis and we understand just how important this event is in the Devon Calendar. It is vital that as key suppliers we offer our support, and would like to wish all nominees the best of luck.


WBW Solicitors are very proud to be supporting the 2018 Devon Life Food & Drink Awards. We are extremely lucky in the South West to have both outstanding local produce and dedicated and enthusiastic producers, suppliers and retailers to bring it to market.

However, the complexities of running a food¬related business can be a little overwhelming. Our group of specialist lawyers are here to ease the stress and help you and your business in a number of ways. At WBW we seek to deliver high quality advice, exceptional service and cost effective legal solutions throughout the South West.

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is the UK’s largest business support organisation, promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and small businesses. Established over 40 years ago to help our members succeed in business, we are a non-profit making and non¬party political organisation that’s led by our members, for our members.

Members get an exclusive package of business services including advice, financial products and support. These cover a wide range of benefits such as tax, legal and HR, local networking, business banking, insurance services, funding and much more.

If you run your own business, chances are you picked an industry you know and are passionate about. You’re confident that you know it well enough to be able to cope with whatever life throws at you. But what happens when you need to deal with something outside your field of expertise? No one person has all the answers. The good news is, joining FSB means having someone on your side.

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Salcombe Distilling Co

Nestled amongst traditional boat builders on Island St, Salcombe at one of the world’s only distilleries directly accessible by boat, Salcombe Distilling Co. produces Salcombe Gin; continuing Salcombe’s legacy of producing outstanding handcrafted products made with an unrivalled passion, care and attention to detail.

Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’ is their multi¬award winning ‘London Dry Gin’ which is exceptionally smooth, distinct and complex. It is distilled with 13 fine botanicals hand sourced from around the world, including fresh citrus peels from the historical trading routes once served by the famous Salcombe fruit schooners.

This exceptional gin is handcrafted on ‘Provident’, a striking 450l copper pot still that stands proud behind glass doors within the distillery for all to view. Visitors can often watch the distillers at work, enjoy a signature serve ‘Salcombe & Tonic’ or simply relax and admire the stunning Salcombe estuary view. It’s a must for those visiting Salcombe and they also have a Gin School where you can create your very own bottle of gin in their distilling laboratory for adults.

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