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RICHARD HUGHES COOK­ERY SCHOOL Sponsor – Nor­folk Home Chef of the Year Richard Hughes, chef di­rec­tor

“What sets Nor­folk’s food and drink in­dus­try apart from the rest? The an­swer is two-fold: the peo­ple and the pro­duce, with the em­pha­sis on the for­mer. Ex­cep­tional seafood, fer­tile land that pro­duces in­cred­i­ble fruit and veg­eta­bles, pas­tures filled with the cows, sheep and goats that are raised for their su­pe­rior meat or milk - the pro­duce is there for the tak­ing in Nor­folk, but it’s the peo­ple who sell it, work with it, cook it and serve it who make Nor­folk truly spe­cial.

“We boast the best of the best, and I am proud to work with peo­ple who are masters of their craft, from home cooks to Miche­lin chefs, farm­ers to ar­ti­san pro­duc­ers, ex­tra­or­di­nary front of house staff to the skilled pro­fes­sion­als who sup­ply the county with meat, fish, dairy, fruit and veg­eta­bles. Nor­folk truly is the UK’s store cup­board.

“The Richard Hughes Cook­ery School is based at The Assem­bly House in Nor­wich. The in­au­gu­ral winner of The Bri­tish Cook­ery School of the Year, the cook­ery school moved into cen­tral Nor­wich in 2017 and now hosts a huge range of classes for adults and chil­dren.

“We are al­ways im­pressed by our tal­ented am­a­teur chefs and wanted to cre­ate a cat­e­gory that cel­e­brated home cooks, whose great work of­ten goes with­out fan­fare. We think it’s time to shout about the food he­roes and hero­ines work­ing in their own kitchens who de­serve to have a wider au­di­ence.”

BAK­ERS AND LARN­ERS Sponsor – Best In­de­pen­dent Food & Drink Re­tailer Michael Baker, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor,

“C T Baker Group is soon to cel­e­brate 250 years as a fam­ily busi­ness. As well as the Bak­ers and Larn­ers store, we also have C T Baker Builders’ Mer­chants in Holt, Stal­ham, Ayl­sham and North Wal­sham, and C T Baker Bud­gens Holt and Ayl­sham. To­day we em­ploy around 300 lo­cal peo­ple. Since our es­tab­lish­ment, we have re­mained a for­ward-think­ing busi­ness with the aim of pro­vid­ing truly ex­cep­tional qual­ity prod­ucts and a high level of ser­vice.

“The Best In­de­pen­dent Food & Drink Re­tailer cat­e­gory is of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to us as we be­lieve, and have awards to sup­port our be­liefs, that we are the lead­ing fine food and wine mer­chants in eastern Eng­land. As such, we be­lieve that we are in an ideal po­si­tion to sponsor and judge an award for the county of Nor­folk.

“We truly recog­nise the value of our re­gion’s in­de­pen­dent food and drink re­tail­ers. As a proud cham­pion of in­de­pen­dent re­tail there is no other cat­e­gory be­fit­ting of our core be­liefs. Our in­volve­ment in the awards this year is the fi­nale to a £300,000 Food Hall and fine wine re­fit, which has taken the am­bi­ence and pre­sen­ta­tion of our store to un­par­al­leled heights.

“In our food hall, we con­sis­tently place a strong em­pha­sis on the re­gion’s lo­cal pro­duce. We be­lieve strongly in sup­port­ing lo­cal sup­pli­ers. The Eat Nor­folk Food & Drink Awards is an­other per­fect op­por­tu­nity for us to show our sup­port.”

CITY COL­LEGE NOR­WICH Sponsor – Chef of the Year Steve Thorpe, as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal, di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion

“City Col­lege Nor­wich is the largest provider of tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion for the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try in Nor­folk, this in­cludes the de­vel­op­ment of the next gen­er­a­tion of food and ser­vice pro­fes­sion­als, as well as sup­port­ing the con­tin­ued pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment of peo­ple across the whole of the food and drink sec­tor.

“Links to chef de­vel­op­ment and train­ing means as sponsor for the Chef of the Year we are in the unique po­si­tion of be­ing able to put to­gether a ro­bust re­view for pro­fes­sion­als in the kitchens of Nor­folk to be ob­served against and judged by their peers for this pres­ti­gious ti­tle each year.

“The Eat Nor­folk Food and Drink Awards en­able peo­ple across the county to recog­nise, praise and nom­i­nate their favourite food and drink re­lated busi­ness or in­di­vid­ual. For the sec­tor it is the one time in the year where a true re­flec­tion of the out­stand­ing food and drink is pro­filed, which is why City Col­lege is al­ways pleased to sponsor an award.”

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