Finalists announced for inaugural Foodie Awards

Finalists announced for inaugural Foodie Awards

THE finalists in the inaugural Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards have been unveiled.

The new Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Warwickshire County Council, Visit Coventry and Coventry BID, is a celebration of the best of the region’s food and drink scene as they re-emerge from the pandemic year.

More than 40 food and drink businesses across the region will now come under the scrutiny of a panel of judges made up of some of the top names in the industry, including chef Glynn Purnell, pictured below, appearing alongside his former employer Andreas Antona, owner of The Cross in Kenilworth, and Russell Allen, managing director of Aubrey Allen.

Foodie Awards 2021, Glynn Purnell, Andreas Antona, Jonatahan Smith, Trish Willetts

Foodie Awards 2021, Glynn Purnell, Andreas Antona, Jonatahan Smith, Trish Willetts
Andreas Antona

Also on the judging panel will be food blogger Chris Hardy AKA ‘The Fat Foodie.’

All the finalists are now invited to a Finalists and Supporters event in Coventry on July 22nd, which will also act as a curtain-raiser to the return of the Coventry Food Festival weekend, organised by Coventry BID.

Kicking off on Friday 23rd July, the Festival is aiming to host the largest selection of artisan food producers in the region and will be headlined by Michelin Star chef Theo Randall and Lesley Waters, who is well known for her cookery books, and television appearances on Ready Steady Cook (BBC), Great Food Live (UKTV), and This Morning (ITV).

Main Foodies organiser Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: ”After the year we have all had, and especially for those across the food, drink and hospitality industry, I am so inspired by the positivity in the responses received from all those being told their business had been selected as a finalist in the inaugural Foodie Awards for Coventry and Warwickshire.

“Selecting the finalists in each category from the 200 entries received was a tough challenge and now the really hard work of deciding the category winners is left to our fantastic independent judges.”

He added: “To learn of the sacrifices made, the plans disrupted and changes everyone has had to make to their businesses is inspiring and I’m delighted to be part of the Foodie Awards and this recognition program that encourages everyone that their efforts were worth it.”

The finalists are:

Best Artisan Drink Producer

Dhillons Brewery, Coventry

Cotswolds Distillery, Stourton

Pinnock Distillery, Kineton

Welcombe Hills Vineyard, Stratford


Best Artisan Food Producer

Price’s Spices, Leamington

Miss Ellie’s of Coventry

Birtelli’s, Leamington

Bluebells Cottage Fudge & Nougat, Stratford


Best Café/Coffee Shop

Warwick Street Kitchen, Leamington

Bumbles, Studley

Bean and Leaf, Coventry

Jack’s Shack, Warwick


Chef/Cook of the Year

George Cambridge, of Warwick Street Kitchen, Leamington

Jay Alan, of Tumeric Gold, Coventry

Baabzi Miah, of Baabzi Indian Takeaway, Warwick

Tony Davis, of Gourmet Food Kitchen, Coventry

Tobias Reutt, of Earlsdon Supper Club


Best Food/Drink Experience

The Dice Box, Leamington

Coombe Abbey, Coventry

Gourmet Food Kitchen, Coventry

Bread For Life, Warwick

Earlsdon Supper Club, Coventry


Best Farm Shop

The Farm, Stratford

Hilltop Farm, Leamington

Farmers Fayre, Stoneleigh


Best Independent Business

Proof Bakery, Coventry

Procaffinate, Leamington

The Steamhouse, Leamington and Redditch


Newcomer Award

Pasta Brothers, Bishops Tachbrook

Meon Pizza, Meon Vale

Bramble Dining, Leamington

Mor Bakery, Stratford

Green Dragon, Coventry


Pub or Bar of the Year

Dhillons Brewery, Coventry

The Drawing Board, Leamington

The Yard, Coventry

The Virgins and Castle, Kenilworth


Restaurant of the Year

Tumeric Gold, Coventry

Oscars French Steakhouse and Bistro, Leamington

Harringtons on the Hill, Kenilworth

Tasca Dali, Warwick


Street Food Trader of the Year

Paneer Wrap

Bad Boys Burgers

Full of Chaat

Salt and Pepper’s

Stripclub Street Food


There is still time to enter the three remaining special awards which will also recognise businesses and individuals who went above and beyond during the Coronavirus pandemic – the COVID-19 Resilience Award backed by Visit Coventry; Food Champion Award, sponsored by The Leamington Courier and Rugby Advertiser and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID.

Judging the Covid Resilience Award will be entrepreneur, investor and speaker John Stapleton who established and grew consumer-led businesses in the UK and USA. He now provides advice and mentorship to growing businesses.

Nominations deadline for these is Wednesday, March 31st. For more information on the awards – or to enter the remaining three categories, visit:

Foodie Awards 2021, Glynn Purnell, Andreas Antona, Jonatahan Smith, Trish WillettsThe Foodie Awards will also be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Trish Willetts, Coventry BID Director, pictured right, said: “I was delighted to help shortlist the finalists for the inaugural Foodie Awards. There was an incredible calibre of entries, so I don’t envy the judges having to make the final decisions. This will be a wonderful event, celebrating the best of the foodie scene across Coventry and Warwickshire, and I’m very much looking forward to raising a glass to them all on the 22nd July!”

She added: “We are aiming to bring some additional joy and celebration into the city centre across the Food Festival weekend, with stalls across Broadgate, demonstrations from our amazing celebrity chefs – Theo and Lesley – and some fantastic live music.”

UNVEILING: Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards. . .

UNVEILING: Coventry and Warwickshire Foodie Awards. . .

A CELEBRATION of the best of Coventry and Warwickshire’s food and drink scene is at the heart of a new awards program designed to support businesses as they re-emerge from lockdown.

The first Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Visit Coventry, will culminate in a ceremony in May following a finalists’ night on January 25th at the city’s new Telegraph Hotel – opening its doors for the first time later this year.

Foodie Awards 2021, Coventry BID, Visit Coventry, Trish Willetts, Eat With Ellen, Talk Business UK, Jonathan Smith, Councillor Jim O’Boyle

Judges and public votes will decide on winners in several categories that focus on quality, service and innovation with an emphasis on farm to fork, including best artisan food and drink producers, farm shop, independent food and drink retailer, newcomer, street food trader and chef or cook of the year.

Three further special awards will also recognise the extraordinary efforts of businesses and individuals throughout the coronavirus pandemic – Food Champion, sponsored by The Leamington Courier Series and Rugby Advertiser; the COVID-19 Resilience Award sponsored by Visit Coventry and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID.

The project brings together the creative minds behind Talk Business UK, Coventry BID and Visit Coventry, to champion the hospitality industry across the region.

Foodie Awards 2021, Jonathan Smith, Talk Business UK, Visit Coventry, Coventry BID, Trish Willetts, Eat With Ellen
Jonathan Smith

Foodie Awards Founder Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: ”This will give a much-needed positive focus for the people in the Food and Drink sector across the region, delivering from farm to fork.

“With so many businesses hit by the direct and knock on effects of lockdown these awards will champion and celebrate the talent, passion, ingenuity and entrepreneurship of all those working so hard to grow, make, bake, brew, cook, host and serve their local communities. This awards program is for all of us to say thank you!”

Entries will open for nominations in a few weeks but sponsors are invited to get in touch via:

Sponsorship packages, which come with a whole host of benefits, are available from just £600 but the organisers would also like to hear from businesses that can offer partnership services.

Foodie Awards 2021, Coventry BID, Visit Coventry, Trish Willetts, Eat With Ellen, Talk Business UK, Jonathan Smith, Councillor Jim O’Boyle
Councillor Jim O’Boyle

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration said: “The last few months have been tough but as restaurants and bars begin to open their doors again, it’s a good time to celebrate the great range of food and drink on offer in Coventry and I am delighted that Visit Coventry is able to be a partner in these awards.

“We have seen a wide range of independent and well-known chains open in the city in recent years and these awards will give this sector a real boost.”


Trish Willetts

Trish Willetts, BID Director, said: “We are incredibly excited to be working with the team bringing the Coventry and Warwickshire Food & Drink Awards to the region. Coventry itself has a thriving foodie scene, with some great independent restaurants and bars in the city, and more to come later in the year.

“Whilst the last few months have been incredibly tough on the industry as a whole, things are slowly starting to get back to normal and a new chapter is beginning. The awards will be a fantastic way to celebrate this and give businesses the recognition they very much deserve.”

The finalists’ night in January and awards ceremony – at a venue to be announced – in May, will both be presided over by MC Kirsty Leahy of Kirsty Leahy Productions.

The Foodie Awards, which will be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight foodbanks in Coventry and Warwickshire, are also being produced in partnership with journalist Amanda Chalmers of ChalmersNewsPR, based in Warwick and food blogger Ellen Manning, from Rugby.

For a full list of categories and all the information, visit