Following 2017's record-breaking year, entries are now open for the prestigious Food & Drink Devon Awards 2018. These gold standard awards celebrate the very best Devon has to offer by recognising the county's most respected, influential and passionate artisan food and drink producers and establishments.

The awards, currently in their eighth year, continue to grow with 2017 recording the highest number of entries to date as well as boasting a glittering sell out awards evening. Last year the judges tasted over 250 of the finest products and visited nearly 100 establishments across Devon to select the pick of the crop for the shortlist.

Barbara King, a proud champion of Devon's producers and chair of the board of directors for Food & Drink Devon, comments: “Since our awards were launched eight years ago, the food and drink scene in Devon has gone from strength to strength. Our county boasts so many dynamic and innovative local producers and purveyors and these awards give us the chance to recognise their success and contributions to this vibrant industry. Every year the awards get bigger and better with a record number of entries last year and for 2018, we have every reason to believe that this trend will continue!.”

The awards cover a broad spectrum of categories across the Devon food and drink scene. The Retail Awards on offer include 'Best Producer', 'Best Retailer' and 'Best Online Retailer'. Whilst the Hospitality sector is also acknowledged with a number of highly sought after Awards including 'Best Fine Dining Restaurant', 'Best Hotel Restaurant','Best Pub Restaurant', 'Best Restaurant', 'Best Bistro', 'Best Café/Tearoom'  and 'Best Pub'. Last year, to reflect the growth of some key areas within the industry, three new categories were added, 'Best Street Food', 'Best Farmers' Market' and 'Best Training School'. This year we have replaced 'Best Packaging' with 'Best Brand Representation' which will judge entrants on their website, packaging, social media, brand message and values.

Closing date for entries is Friday 20th April and judging will be carried out by a panel of experts, which will include a number of celebrated names from the industry, and will take place over the following three months. Entrants will have the opportunity to benefit from invaluable product feedback provided by the panel. The winners will be invited to collect their awards at a dazzling black tie ceremony in October.