Guest Blog: Derby Food & Drink Awards 2015

Local food blogger Ria Amber Tesia guest blogs for Marketing Derby and Derby Food & Drink on her experience at the Derby Food & Drink Awards 2015. Special thanks to Cactus Images for their stunning photography!

Good morning all, how are you doing on this lovely Tuesday? So, it was the Derby Food and Drink Awards last night and this Derby foodie was covering the ceremony just for you. This was the scene pre-ceremony, and expectation was high with a palpable buzz of sweet victorious anticipation.

Just before the start of the awards ceremony.

The crème de la crème of the food industry descended on The Roundhouse to celebrate the seventh annual Derby Food and Drink Awards. The evening highlighted Derby’s finest restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes, in categories including Best Newcomer, Best Out of Town, and the highly prestigious Restaurant of the Year.

The award ceremony, organised by Marketing Derby in conjunction with the Derby Telegraph, Roundhouse Events and Cactus Images, was hosted by Andy Potter, ab fab BBC journo and foodie. 

I feel a little sorry for the nomination counter, because over 1,600 nominations were received for the seventh annual Derby Food and Drink Awards, showcasing the strength of the city’s food and drink industry.

Each year, the standard gets better. To be a finalist is a tremendous achievement.
— John Forkin, Managing Director at Marketing Derby

Marketing Derby’s John Forkin praised the variety in the finalists and winners. He said: “Each year, the standard gets better. To be a finalist is a tremendous achievement.”

The food and drink sector in Derby has gone from strength to strength and it’s great to see the dining scene expand and offer a diverse range of eateries. With big names being attracted to Derby (Turtle Bay, Joe’s Kitchen, Byron’s Burgers just a few to mention), Derby is steadily becoming the foodie destination of choice.

The Spice Lounge scooped two awards for Best International and the coveted Excellence in Customer Service Award

So who won? It is my pleasure to announce the following:

Best International – Sponsored by Flint Bishop

Finalist – Lorentes
Finalist – Okra
Winner – The Spice Lounge

Best Café – Sponsored by The Dragon

Finalist – Cube at Deda
Finalist – Café Caruso Boutique
Winner – Bean Caffe Riverside

Newcomer to Derby: Brooklyn Social wins two awards for Best Newcomer and Best Bar

Best Bar – Sponsored by Portixol Relocations

Finalist – The Distillery
Finalist – Mansion
Winner – The Brooklyn Social

Best Pub – Sponsored by Roundhouse Thinking

Finalist – The Silk Mill Ale and Cider House
Finalist – The Tap
Winner – The Exeter Arms

Guests were treated to a live cocktail-making demonstration from Cathedral Quarter Hotel's Bar Sixteen

During an interval, The Cathedral Quarter Hotel put on a cute cocktail demonstration. The scene was set and mixologists extraordinaire from CQH rustled up some very inventive cocktails. The smoked number smelt and looked amazing, as the aroma of charred oak chips filled the room.

Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Underwood Vinecombe Solicitors

Canapés on offer from Café Lavanta

Finalist – Hide
Finalist – Café Lavanta
Winner – The Brooklyn Social

Canapés on the night were provided by Café Lavanta. My favourite was the hummus that was delicate on the palate and earthy without being cloying.

David Torrington from sponsor Sky Recruitment Solutions presents winner of Best Out of Town Angelo's The New Inn in Belper with their award

Best Out of Town – Sponsored by Sky Recruitment Solutions

Finalist – Fintons Café and Bakehouse, Breaston
Finalist – Hackwood Farm, Radbourne
Winner – Angelo’s The New Inn, Belper

Best Customer Service – Sponsored by Derby Telegraph

Finalist – Iberico
Finalist – Dovecote Restaurant, Morley Hayes
Finalist – Okra
Finalist – The Engine Shed
Finalist – Le Bistrot Pierre
Winner – The Spice Lounge

Restaurant of the Year – Sponsored by Marketing Derby Bondholders

Finalist – Iberico
Finalist – Rowley’s
Winner – Masa

Outstanding Achievement – Sponsored by Royal Crown Derby

Winner - Paul Hurst

It was a really great evening and it was a pleasure meeting Joe, Asad et al at Marketing Derby, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Well done for pulling off a seamlessly smooth event and thank you to the sponsors of the evening too. Congratulations to all finalists too. I have dined at most of the finalists’ eateries and have been blown away by the downright delicious fayre.

Check out more from guest food blogger, Ria Amber Tesia on her website.

Paul Hurst accepts his award for Outstanding Achievement

We are honoured to be presenting the prestigious Royal Crown Derby Outstanding Achievement award for the second year running at the Derby Food and Drinks Awards, in partnership with Marketing Derby. Paul Hurst truly is an ambassador for Derby, maintaining his commitment to giving back to the city, culminating in the regeneration of The Old Bell Hotel. The time that Paul also invests into supporting the local community, including his role as Vice Chair of the Cathedral Quarter Management Group combined with his professional contribution to the city’s food and drink industry, make him an exceptionally worthy recipient of this award and we offer him our sincerest congratulations.
— Christopher Oakes, Sales and Marketing Direct at Royal Crown Derby