New Cumbria Food Awards unveiled

The very best of Cumbria’s food, drink and hospitality businesses will be recognised in a new county-wide awards event.

By Michelle Blade
Monday, 19th July 2021, 12:30 pm

Cumbria Food Awards 2022 will celebrate everything that’s excellent about the industry in a county renowned for its restaurants, producers and food scene.

The food and drink sector is hugely important to the county’s economy, generating hundreds of millions of pounds each year and employing thousands of people. The independent event is intended to give the industry a lift at a time when businesses are struggling with a double whammy of trading restrictions and recruitment problems.

The awards will culminate in a sparkling presentation evening to be held on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at Kendal College, one of the UK’s leading providers of hospitality training.

From left: Chef lecturer Yannick Lequitte; college principal Kelvin Nash; head of faculty for leisure and service industries Richard Axford; organisers Michaela Robinson-Tate and Lindsay Molloy; Booths specialist manager Dan Atherton; MD of Barrnon Media John Holliday; hospitality lecturer Paul Waring and food service and wine tutor Graeme Hedley. Picture by Phil Rigby.

Students will cook a three-course dinner for the awards finalists, guests and some of the county’s best known chefs and industry leaders, before the winners are announced.

Richard Axford, Kendal College’s head of faculty for leisure and service industries, oversees training for 60 hospitality students and 30 apprentices each year.

He said: “We want to support the Cumbria Food Awards because it’s a really exciting proposal and something we think is very relevant to the Cumbrian food and drink industry.

“There are some exceptional places to eat and drink in Cumbria and these awards are about highlighting the people who are doing an exceptional job.”

The awards are supported by independent grocer Booths, which has generously agreed to provide the food for the event dinner.

Booths head of trading and marketing John Gill said: “Booths are delighted to support the Cumbria Food Awards. Now more than ever, people who work hard to make and grow exceptional food and drink need to be supported and celebrated.

“Food plays a pivotal role in all our lives and we’re delighted to help recognise the brilliant efforts of chefs, producers, growers and makers across Cumbria.”

The media partner for the awards will be popular news website Cumbria Crack. The website, which has 1.55 million page views per month and hundreds of thousands of social media followers, will be the place to go for the latest awards announcements.

John Holliday, MD of Barrnon Media, the home of Cumbria Crack, Cumberland & Westmorland Herald and Keswick Reminder, said: “Cumbria is the food capital of the country – outside of London. We believe the awards will provide restaurants, chefs and everyone involved in the industry with a welcome boost during what’s been an incredible last 16 months.

“Our team Cumbria Crack and Barrnon Media is delighted to be associated with the Cumbria Food Awards. We want to celebrate the achievements of the hospitality sector, which continues to offer customers and diners an amazing experience and I’m confident our content will reflect that.”

The awards will be judged by an independent panel from Cumbria and the north, chosen for their expertise and knowledge. Categories will cover restaurants, chefs, cafés and food and drink producers.

The independent awards are organised by designer Lindsay Molloy and journalist Michaela Robinson-Tate, who have more than a decade’s experience of producing and coordinating awards events in Cumbria.

Business owners, restaurateurs and individuals can enter themselves for the awards and the public can nominate their favourite places to eat and drink. Entries will open in the autumn and can be made via the awards website

For sponsorship inquiries email [email protected]