Essex Food and Drink Awards


As organisers of the Essex Food and Drink Awards, it is with great sadness that we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event, due to be held on November 8.

The awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of Essex’s food and drink industry and the significant contribution it makes to everyday life in the county and to the local economy. After the unprecedented challenges of the past 17 months, we hoped that the 2021 awards would be a way to show Essex enormous gratitude to, and admiration for, the food and drink producers, purveyors, chefs, restaurants, pubs and cafes that have worked so hard throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, adapting their businesses and finding new ways to serve us, their customers.

After a year and a half of lockdowns and closures, the hospitality industry is busy rebuilding and recovering - reshaping to be able to succeed in the changing hospitality landscape. We’re confident that Essex businesses will succeed, that they will be as strong as ever, and we will play our part in supporting them.

But there are numerous, considerable challenges and, even as restrictions are lifted, uncertainty about what the future holds. So, after talking to people working in the industry and listening to what they told us – that they need time to regather their strength, welcome back their customers, reshape their businesses and get back to being their best in a world that has changed for ever – we have taken the decision that now is not the time for awards.

We know that this will be a disappointment, just as we are saddened by it, but we also know it’s the right thing to do. We thank all the sponsors who have demonstrated their commitment to supporting the Essex food and drink industry by supporting the awards, and the public who have nominated businesses and individuals they believe deserve recognition for the outstanding work they do.

We hope that as the whole country recovers from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic we will be able to celebrate the achievements of the Essex exceptional food and drink industry in 2022.

Hannah Gildart, Editor, Essex Life