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Woking Food and Drink Festival triumphs at Surrey Life Awards

11 September 2015

It was a night to remember (Thursday 10 September) at Surrey Life's Food and Drink Awards 2015, as Woking's annual Food and Drink Festival won Best Local Food Event in a glittering awards night at Foxhills resort in Ottershaw.

Voted for by Surrey residents, the awards celebrate the region's food and drink industry in what is undoubtedly one of the biggest events in the Surrey calendar.

Festival organiser, Sam Marshall, said: "It's absolutely fantastic to win this award. Thank you to everyone who voted for us. It means a lot to be recognised by Surrey residents. Woking is fast becoming a destination for food lovers, not only from within Surrey but across the South East, so it's really encouraging to see so many Woking-based food and hospitality businesses receiving the recognition they deserve at these awards.

"I'd like to thank everyone involved with the festival, especially our lead sponsor, Woking Shopping, and Tante Marie Culinary Academy, without whom we could not have hosted such a successful event."

Award category judge, Jane Garrett, said: "Woking Food Festival is a genuine event, three days of passionate focus on different aspects of food, held once a year, not just a regular market. It is a celebration of food on many levels: buying, tasting, discovering, and learning, and it involves food producers and professional chefs in everything from cookery demonstrations to master classes, competitions and guided tours.

"There is an emphasis on local food but also a strong emphasis on community, so this festival uses food to bring the community together. It is growing fast, it has developed an identity really quickly so people are asking about it, and it is developing new ideas and spreading into different areas of the town. This is just its third year but it has really taken off. The festival is commercially sponsored and free to visitors, with just the masterclass donations going to charity."

And Woking had lots more reasons, as seven local food and hospitality businesses were also shortlisted for the finals:

  • Tea/Coffee Shop of the Year: The Lightbox Café (Woking)
  • Best Family Dining: The Cricketers, Horsell (Woking)
  • Restaurant of the Year: RaysIndian (Woking) and London House (Old Woking)
  • Services to the Community: Woking Food Bank (Woking)
  • Newcomer of the Year: The Restaurant at Tante Marie (Woking)
  • Butcher of the Year Graham: Turner Butchers (Pyrford)

Cllr John Kingsbury, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: "This year's Woking Food and Drink Festival delivered everything we set out to achieve and more, so I am delighted to receive county-wide recognition by winning this award. I'd also like to extend my congratulations to all the Borough-based finalists.

"In line with our desire to support home-grown talent, and as a way of encouraging people to shop local, the festival provided an invaluable showcase for our artisan food producers, local restaurants and critically acclaimed chefs, which is reflected in the high number of nominations received by Woking-based businesses in these awards.

"The festival drew a huge number of visitors to our refurbished town centre, including Woking Market, whom we hope liked what they found and will return on a frequent basis. I'm proud that Woking continues to change and develop it's reputation as a destination for quality fresh produce, great restaurants and an impressive retail offer."

For more information about the Surrey Life Food and Drink Award winners, click here.