Coventry & Warwickshire’s food & drink scene is to be celebrated via a new awards programme designed to support businesses as they re-emerge from lockdown.

The first Foodie Awards, in partnership with Visit Coventry, will culminate in a ceremony next May. This will follow on from a finalists’ night on 25 January at the city’s new Telegraph Hotel, which opens its doors for the first time later this year.

Judges and public votes will decide on winners in several categories that focus on quality, service and innovation.

There will be an emphasis on 'farm to fork', with awards categories for artisan food & drink producers, farm shops, independent food & drink retailers, newcomers and street food traders. A chef/cook of the year category will also be included.

Special awards will recognise the extraordinary efforts of businesses and individuals throughout the coronavirus pandemic. These include the Covid-19 Resilience Award, sponsored by Visit Coventry, and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID.

The project brings together the creative minds behind Talk Business UK, Coventry BID and Visit Coventry, to champion the hospitality industry across the region.

Foodie Awards founder Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: ''With so many businesses hit by the direct and knock-on effects of lockdown, these awards will champion and celebrate the talent, passion, ingenuity and entrepreneurship of all those working so hard to grow, make, bake, brew, cook, host and serve their local communities. This awards programme is for all of us to say thank you!''

Entries will open for nominations in a few weeks, but sponsors are invited to get in touch via: hello@foodieawards.co.uk

Sponsorship packages, which come with a whole host of benefits, are available from just £600, but the organisers would also like to hear from businesses that can offer partnership services. 

The Foodie Awards will be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight foodbanks in Coventry & Warwickshire.

For a full list of categories and all the information, visit foodieawards.co.uk