Designed to shine a light on Derby's food and drink sector, nominations are welcomed from members of the public, business leaders and food and drink establishment owners, who can cast their vote by visiting https://www.marketingderby.co.uk/derby-food-awards.
The nomination period is open for four weeks, after which a shortlist of finalists per category will be drawn up.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony, which is set to take place at The Chocolate Factory, which is home to Bustler Market, on Monday 18 October.
John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said “The impact of the pandemic on hospitality makes these awards more important than ever.
“We are really looking forward to seeing who is nominated in this key sector for the city.”
The awards are made up of 12 categories – many of them new.
Out of the 12 categories, 10 will be open for nominations. The winners of the overall Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards Winner for 2021 and the award for Outstanding Achievement will be revealed on the night.
Entrants for all categories, except for the Country Pub/Restaurant award, should be based in the "Greater Derby" area.
Once the nomination period is over, the entries will be used to select three finalists in each category, apart from the Excellence in Customer Service
category, which will have a shortlist of six. The winner of this category will be voted for by the public.
In terms of the other categories, representatives from each sponsor will judge their own category, which involves ‘mystery shopping’ at all three finalists and scoring against defined criteria.
As well as new categories, the Derby Food and Drink Awards will this year be held at a new venue.
This year, the awards will be held at one of the city’s newest and biggest event venues – The Chocolate Factory – home to the phenomenally popular Bustler Market.
Situated in Castleward, on the junction of John Street and Siddals Road, it offers around 30,000 sq ft of blank canvas to host events that to date include beer festivals, weddings, corporate events, away days and craft fairs.
Featuring an on-site bar, giant TV screens and enough seating to comfortably accommodate 1,500 people, The Chocolate Factory is flexible enough to meet the needs of any event.
The Chocolate Factory is operated by the team behind Bustler Market, Derby’s award-winning street food market, which is held there on a regular
Managing director Liv Pritchard said: “We are really excited to be hosting the Food and Drink Awards this year.
“We’ve long believed it should be an important date for the hospitality industry in and around Derby and we look forward to turning it into a huge celebration at the end of what has been an incredibly challenging time for our sector.
“We are proud to be working with Marketing Derby on this and can’t wait to celebrate with everyone in October.”
The Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards is also backed by its category sponsors.
Among them is Derby College Group, which is sponsoring the Most Innovate food and drink business category.
Carol Dixon, the college’s director of commercial business, said: “The Food and Drink Awards celebrate the best of innovative creativity, high-quality customer service and entrepreneurial endeavour, which are all attributes that we engender into our student body as part of their study programmes.
“We are therefore delighted to be supporting the awards again this year.”
Laura Firth, the owner of MiniAperture Photography, which is sponsoring the Most Family-Friendly category, said: “I’ve always been passionate about helping other businesses to shine, so becoming a sponsor of the Food and Drink Awards was a very easy decision to make!
“We’re incredibly lucky to have so many fantastic independent businesses in Derby - and after the impact of the pandemic I want to help support and celebrate these businesses now more than ever.”
The categories are:
Marketing Derby Food & Drink Awards Winner 2021 - Sponsored by Denby Pottery
Selected by the Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards Steering Group, and based on the quality of nominations, this award will showcase the best of the best, with the winner being announced at the awards ceremony.
Outstanding Achievement Award - Sponsored by Royal Crown Derby
Selected by the Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards Steering Group, this award will showcase a hand-picked ambassador for Derby’s food and drink offer and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony.
Most Innovative - Sponsored by Derby College Group
This exciting NEW category will showcase establishments that are constantly thinking ‘what next, with a real flair for standing out and being innovative.
Judges will be looking for that ‘wow’ factor, which offers guests something a little different.
Excellence in Customer Service (city and county) – Sponsored by Peak Radio
The winner of this award will be voted for by the public following the initial shortlist process. Establishments in this category must go above and beyond their customers' expectations.
Best for Drinking – Sponsored by Frame Fast
Awarded to an establishment that offers consistency and excellence in its drinks specialism. The panel will judge the establishments’ ambience, quality of service and the team’s drinks knowledge - both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Most Family-Friendly – Sponsored by MiniAperture Photography
This category celebrates those that go the extra mile to give families an all-round great experience. The establishment must offer more than a child-friendly menu, highchairs and changing facilities. Activity packs are a bonus!
Best Newcomer – Sponsored by DBC Training
This category is open to food and drink businesses that are less than 18 months old. Whether they have come onto the Derby food and drink scene
with a bang, or are still the city’s best-kept secret, the panel will be looking for great service, a good menu selection (food or drink) and an enthusiasm to succeed.
Best Experience – Sponsored by University of Derby
This NEW category showcases the best overall experience of hospitality, from the food and drink offering to the general ambience and customer care. The winner of this category doesn't strictly need to have a permanent residence.
Best Country Pub / Restaurant (outside of city) – Sponsored by White Peak Distillery
Open to country pubs located outside the city of Derby but still in the county of Derbyshire. This NEW category will be awarded to the business that is worth driving a few miles to visit; somewhere you'd take friends and family time and again. The judging panel will be looking for a friendly welcome, warm atmosphere and a good offering of food and drink.
Best Café – Sponsored by CityFibre
The establishment must serve a range of teas and coffees, along with light bites and baked goods. Judges will be looking for a welcoming, comfortable and relaxing environment that offers more than just a brand.
Best Outdoor – Sponsored by ACE Sameday Couriers
Another NEW category! From a beer garden to a designer patio area for dining, the winner of this category will need to have space that is imaginative and much more than a couple of benches on the lawn!
Best for Sustainability – Sponsored by Derby Food 4 Thought Alliance
Entrants to this NEW category must be able to showcase how they engage customers and food suppliers at local and regional levels to shorten the sustainable food supply chain. They must also inspire and empower others to cut down on food waste, food miles, unnecessary packaging and create opportunities to redistribute and recycle surplus food in Derby.
Nominations close to the public on Friday 27 August. The finalists will then be announced on Wednesday 8 September, with the winners being revealed at the awards ceremony on Monday, 18 October.
To nominate, visit the Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards webpage at https://www.marketingderby.co.uk/derby-food-awards.
To book a place at the awards ceremony visit https://eventpilot.evolutive.co.uk/eventDetails.aspx?eventNo=2502085&siteId=221.
Get all the latest news on the Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards by following @DerbyFoodAwards on Twitter.