Some of the county’s best known businesses are backing Cumbria’s independent awards for the hospitality industry.
New sponsors have lent their support to the much-anticipated 2024 Cumbria Food Awards. Held in association with Caterite, the event is due to take place at Kendal College on March 14.
The host will be TV presenter and chef Simon Rimmer, who will present 13 category trophies, plus a special award for Rising Star and the night’s top award of Outstanding Contribution.
The free-to-enter awards, which are judged by a panel of experts, are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence in the hospitality industry. Categories include Chef of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Café of the Year and Food Producer of the Year.
The team at independent holiday rental business Herdwick Cottages are new sponsors of the Pub, Bar or Taproom of the Year award.
Established in 2018 by Adam Stephenson and Terry Knipe, their portfolio of 132 properties includes cottages, lodges and glamping pods throughout the county.
Adam said the Kendal-based team was delighted to be involved.
“We attract guests to Cumbria from across the UK and abroad and we are often asked for recommendations of places to visit and to eat,” he said.
“We believe that the Cumbria Food Awards is a fantastic way to recognise the hard work and dedication that goes into providing guests and visitors with a memorable experience. Best of luck to all the entrants.”
This year’s awards include a new category, for Service of the Year, designed to shine a light on a front-of-house team member, pub landlord, maître d’ or host who demonstrates exceptional skills and provides a warm welcome.
The category is sponsored by the Academy by Simon Rogan, a unique venture run by the three Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur with Kendal College.
Sam Ward, managing director of UMBEL Restaurant Group, the umbrella group for Simon Rogan’s restaurants, said they were thrilled to sponsor Service of the Year.
“This is an award category specifically designed to recognise the hard work of front-of-house heroes across the industry.
“Front-of-house can all too often be overlooked in this country as a viable, well-paid career but we wanted to buck that trend and show that as a region, we’re proud to celebrate the amazing talent we have in Cumbria.
“This is something that sits at the heart of what the Academy by Simon Rogan is about, particularly when it comes to our Front-of-House Academy, which is specifically designed to nurture emerging talent, focusing on developing excellence in customer service, leadership and business management.”
Not-for-profit organisation Enterprise Answers, which works to help businesses across the North with loan finance, is the new sponsor of the Casual Dining of the Year category.
Chief executive Grahame Latus said: “For many years, Enterprise Answers has assisted a number of food and drink producers and dining establishments, enabling them to unleash their creative culinary talents for the enjoyment of all those who live in and visit Cumbria.
“We are pleased to show our commitment to this dynamic business sector.”
We are Cumbria Food Awards media partner and Simon Rogan is the event’s patron. Independent northern grocer Booths is again supporting the event by supplying the ingredients for canapés at the networking reception.
Sponsors are: Caterite, Academy by Simon Rogan; Cranstons; Enterprise Answers; Grapevine; Hawkshead Relish; Herdwick Cottages; Lamont Pridmore; More? The Artisan Bakery; Spinning Jennies and Thomson Hayton Winkley.
The awards will open for entries on Thursday, November 16. See www.cumbriafoodawards.co.uk