Across the county our award judges are tak­ing tough de­ci­sions

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Au­gust may be a sleepy hol­i­day month for many but for our Eat Nor­folk Food and Drink Award judges it is still a busy time.

This year we had a stag­ger­ing 500 en­tries – a record – and the panel of 31 ex­pert judges has had the dif­fi­cult task of painstak­ingly re­view­ing and test­ing the field. It has meant long days in the car for some, criss-cross­ing Nor­folk to visit busi­nesses, meet peo­ple and sam­ple some of the amaz­ing food and drink be­ing cre­ated. Oth­ers have been putting the skills of chefs un­der scru­tiny, seeing how they per­form un­der pres­sure.

There have been long dis­cus­sions – and pos­si­bly some heated de­bates – about the mer­its of the con­tenders. But at the end of the process there are only

four names in each cat­e­gory who will go for­ward to the gala night at OPEN in Norwich on Septem­ber 9 to dis­cover if they have won one of the cov­eted awards. Around 300 guests will fill the hall for the big night, to be hosted by the BBC’s David White­ley, for a drinks re­cep­tion, su­perb din­ner and to see the win­ners col­lect their awards in the 14 cat­e­gories. It promisies to be a great night and we’ll be re­veal­ing all the win­ners in our Oc­to­ber is­sue.

Matt Usher

The awards night is at OPEN in Norwich on Septem­ber 9

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