Time to vote for your Norfolk food hero

Launch of Aylsham Show Food Heroes Awards 2013 at Blickling Hall. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Launch of Aylsham Show Food Heroes Awards 2013 at Blickling Hall. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

From mothers and Meals on Wheels cooks, to bespoke pie makers, butchers and restaurant owners.

Nominations can now be made for the annual Food Heroes Awards, which celebrates food and drink businesses, big or small, as well as champions of Norfolk produce.

Anyone can nominate an individual or business and the 10 judges will select winners for five categories, who will battle it out to become the championship winner at this year's Aylsham Show on August 26 at Blickling Park.

Previous shortlisted nominees and winners, judges and food fans gathered at Blicking Hall for the Food Heroes Awards 2013 launch today.

Alison Hovesen, Food Heroes Awards committee member, said nominations did not have to be businesses but could be a parent, teacher or a champion of local food.

Previous winner Stuart Tattersall, head chef of the Gunton Arms hotel and restaurant in Thorpe Market, near Cromer, said: 'It is great to be involved because it is such a compliment to be recognised. Locally we are so lucky to have great produce. The Aylsham Show amplifies how rich Norfolk is a rich food producing county. It is the envy of other counties. We have got a rich vein of produce to tap into.'

Other winners were Norfolk Cordial in Roughton, near Cromer; Wiveton Hall Fruit Farm Cafe and Farm Shop, near Holt; J & D Papworth Farms butchers and graziers, which has shops in Swaffham, Sheringham, Fakenham and North Walsham; and Aylsham High School catering teacher Jason Baxter.

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Sam Papworth, who is involved in J & D Papworth Farms which was the championship winner last year, said: 'We were very touched and honoured to win last year. The Food Heroes Awards is a brilliant competition because it gives you something to aspire to.'

Judge Richard Bryan said the contest discovered new talents and celebrated long-standing companies.

Categories this year include best use of local produce on a menu; best specialist food or drink producer; best new food or drink venture started in 2012/2013; best food or drink supplier, producer, promoting local produce; and the Aylsham Show individual food hero.

Nominations need to be made by April 30. Forms can be picked up from a selection of Norfolk businesses or by visiting www.aylshamshow.co.uk/localfood.php

Forms should be returned to Richard Bryan, White Gates, The Street, Oulton, Norwich, NR11 6AF. Or alternatively email them to rbryan1000@aol.com

Category judging will be held on June 13.