On Tuesday 31 January, the prestigious Taste of Kent Awards (TOKA) launched its 2023 award programme in a buzzing event at the Foundry Brewery Pub in Canterbury.
The event was attended by previous winners and finalists, Produced in Kent members and influential industry figures including lead judge and food broadcaster Nigel Barden.
Now in its 18th year, the TOKA celebrates the tastiest food and drink of Kent, shining a spotlight on the regions excellence in producing fine quality British produce.
This year the awards have introduced a new format, which means businesses can self-nominate and enter themselves. The entries are open now and close on the 28th February 2023.
The awards ceremony, taking place at the University of Kent on the 15th of June, is paired with a Taste of Kent Festival on the same day, open to the general public, with over 70 finalists promoting, sampling and selling their delicious food and drink products.
Floortje Hoette from Produced in Kent who run the awards explains, ‘I would urge all food and drink businesses in Kent to enter, from start ups to established businesses. The awards offer a unique opportunity to showcase the quality of the food and drink in Kent and can help elevate local businesses onto the national stage.”
A total of 28 categories are available this year, across four sub sections. There are 17 categories in the Taste /Product awards including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and everything from savoury to sweet. There are five categories in the Hospitality and Catering section, which incorporates categories such as food and drink markets, independent retailers, and street food experience of the year. There are a further three categories in the business section and three special awards.
Open to any food and drink business located in Kent and Medway, the awards are the longest-running, and most prestigious food and drink awards in the South East.
Nikki Causer, Head of Marketing of Southeastern and Head Sponsor adds.
“We’re extremely proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Taste of Kent Awards to celebrate the range of incredible products the region has to offer. Our passengers travel to Kent to explore the beautiful Garden of England and we’re proud to help them discover the fantastic variety of independent, local businesses across the county.”
Other sponsors include: The University of Kent, Brachers, Crowe UK, EKC Group, NFU Mutual Ashford Tenterden & Whitfield, Oxbury, Shepherd Neame and Southern Co-op
Key Dates Taste of Kent Awards 2023
- Entries open 1st February 2023
- Entries close 28th February 2023
- Judging March – May 2023
- Finalists announced May 2023
- Taste of Kent Festival and Awards Ceremony 15th June 2023
To enter go to https://tasteofkentawards.co.uk
Entries are £20 +Vat for PinK members and £45 + Vat for non-members.
Pictured: TOKA head judge Nigel Barden