The tranquil settings of Hitchin Priory played host to the 2016 Hertfordshire Food and Drink Awards, Monday 6th June.  Now in their second year, the event drew a gathering of 150 attendees from nominated finalists to see who would be crowned winners of 14 categories.

The sheer volume of votes by members of the public show even as corporate chains further and further dominate our high streets, the public support, value and promote the hard work, originality and the creative force that drives independent businesses.

Awards organiser Damian Cummins said;  ‘Supporting independent businesses is at the heart of what we do..  The end result is what you and I see on our plate at a sitting, but the journey is so much more complex, the connections between local suppliers and food and drink outlets is really what drives this industry.  The focus on provenance, quality, taste and experience is central to its continued success and must prevail!  Our awards offer the best endorsement there is, that of the customer.’

Such passion for authenticity and creativity is the driving force behind the success of The Buntingford Kitchen, Overall winners for two years running.  Damian Clarkson, the proprietor said:

Last year we won ‘Best Fine Dining’ and ‘Overall Winner’ and we were tremendously surprised.  We can’t quite believe we have a double win again this year picking up ‘Best Independent Restaurant’ and ‘Overall Winner’ especially as the competition this year was so tough. We were up against the very best Hertfordshire has to offer.  To say I’m proud of my team would be an understatement. It is such an amazing achievement and makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

Winners of the awards are based solely on the results of the public vote, with the overall winner having achieved the most votes out of all the nominated venues overall. To view the list of winners, please click here.


Photo: Winners of the Overall and Independent Restaurant Awards, Damian Clarkson owner of The Buntingford Kitchen, alongside Restaurant Manager Stefanie Mather

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