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Who are your food and drink heroes? Aylsham Show launches annual awards at Blickling Hall - and invites you to nominate!

The launch of the Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards 2017 run by the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association.
< l to r>  John Savory, Jacinth Rogers, Show President John Wootten, Simon Evans and Catherine Temple.

Picture: James Bass Photography

The launch of the Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards 2017 run by the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association. < l to r> John Savory, Jacinth Rogers, Show President John Wootten, Simon Evans and Catherine Temple. Picture: James Bass Photography

James Bass Photography

Food selfies have become a social media phenomenon in recent years.

The launch of the Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards 2017 run by the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association.

Picture: James Bass PhotographyThe launch of the Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards 2017 run by the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association. Picture: James Bass Photography

But taking photographs of food and posting them online isn’t just reserved to amateur foodies.

John Savory, who runs Norfolk Quail at Great Ryburgh, near Fakenham, with his wife Ellie, revealed he regularly receives food orders via Twitter from chefs up and down the country who, in turn, Tweet their satisfaction with pictures of the finished product served up on a plate.

And he believes more people should take pride in the food they eat.

Norfolk Quail was crowned the overall champion in the 2016 Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards, presented at the Aylsham Show, last year.

The launch of the Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards 2017 run by the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association.

Picture: James Bass PhotographyThe launch of the Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards 2017 run by the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association. Picture: James Bass Photography

And Mr Savory returned to the site of the show at Blickling Hall on Wednesday to support the launch of this year’s competition.

He is encouraging local foodies to nominate their food and drink heroes, with the overall winner being presented with the Ken Dye Memorial Salver at the Aylsham Show on Monday, August 28.

Mr Savory said: “We were very honoured to win it, it was the first year of being nominated.”

The categories include: Best specialist food or drink producer; Best use of Norfolk produce on menu; Best food or drink supplier/retailer; Best new food or drink venture; and Aylsham Show individual food or drink hero.

Winning the president’s special award last year was Catherine Temple, of Mrs Temple’s Cheese, at Wighton, near Wells. Speaking at the launch of this year’s event, she said: “I would encourage anyone who enjoys their food or drink to take part. We’ve got to promote Norfolk as a tourist destination and a food desination.

“We’re privileged that we’ve got a coast so we can have seafood, and a climate that grows all sorts of products, so we can do a complete Norfolk menu which I hope really helps the hospitality trade and visitor experience to Norfolk.”

The Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards were the first of their kind in the county when they started in 2007.

Now entering its 11th year, chairman Jacinth Rogers said: “Each year we receive more and more nominations which show that people truly support and have a passion for Norfolk food and drink. We welcome many more this year!”

Nominations need to be made by June 5. Forms can be picked up from a selection of Norfolk businesses or by visiting http://theaylshamshow.co.uk/

Forms should be returned to Richard Bryan, The Boathouse, Shopsdam Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8ES. Or alternatively email them to rbryan1000@aol.com

Looking forward to this year’s Aylsham Show, President John Wootten said: “I was show director, helping put the show together back in the ‘90s, and then I was head of planning for the previous five or six years, so now they’ve asked me to be president, I’m very pleased.

“Preparations are going well, we just hope we have another dry year like last year.

“The food and drink awards are a very important part of the show, because we obviously feature agriculture and farming and it’s amazing just how many small businesses there are in Norfolk.”

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