Less than two years after opening, Bottle and Thyme has been named as Chesterfield’s Restaurant of the Year, taking the top honour in the town’s 2018 Food and Drink Awards organised by Destination Chesterfield in association with Chesterfield College.
Based on Knifesmithgate in Chesterfield town centre, Bottle and Thyme was one of 13 bars, restaurants, food producers, cafés and individuals to scoop an accolade across 15 categories.
Now in its sixth year, the awards ceremony recognised the very best in the town’s growing food and drink sector. Once again held at Chesterfield College’s Heart Space building, the awards ceremony was hosted by celebrity chef, Lesley Waters, who explained: “I was delighted to host the 2018 Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards.
“There is a real passion amongst food and drink businesses in the area for using locally sourced produce. As well as supporting local business, it’s about using fresh ingredients and creating great food. I firmly believe the best food is made with passion and there is plenty of that in Chesterfield.”
Since opening in December 2016, Bottle and Thyme has made a big impression on the town’s food and drink scene. Last year, it took home the titles of Best Newcomer and Best Customer Service, in the 2017 Food and Drink Awards.
Hannah Grainger, Owner of Bottle and Thyme said: “It feels incredible to win Chesterfield’s Restaurant of the Year. We were so happy to win the two awards last year and, this year, we are ecstatic to win this – it means so much. We try to use as many local suppliers as we can and always try and make our menu seasonal to change it up; keeping things exciting.”
Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield said: “Once again the awards have been a tremendous success and reflection of a thriving sector in Chesterfield. The awards – in terms of nominations, businesses and guests, increase year on year, and 2018 was no exception. They epitomise everything that is great about the Chesterfield hospitality scene – great food, drink and partnerships between both the business community and education sector.”
This year, the awards saw the introduction of two new categories – Apprentice of the Year and Apprentice Employer of the Year, recognising the contribution that apprenticeships make to the hospitality industry
Corey Elliott, an apprentice chef at The Lilypad Café & Restaurant was named as the Apprentice of the Year, while Stephenson’s Tea and Coffee House was named as the Apprentice Employer of the Year. Stephenson’s’ owners, Claire and Sam Wood had cause for double celebration on the night after being named as the Café/Tea Room of the Year.
Chatsworth Road-based Junction Bar was also a double winner on the night scooping the awards for Pub/Bar of the Year and Best Customer Service.
More than 250 people attended what has become the biggest night of the year for Chesterfield’s food and drink community. Held in association with The Chesterfield College Group, the awards are also a hands-on learning experience for the College’s hospitality students, who prepared and served a two-course menu at the event.
Julie Richards, Principal and Chief Executive of The Chesterfield College Group said: “I am delighted that the role of apprenticeships in the industry was celebrated for the first time this year, alongside the achievements of the Young Chef of the Year finalists.
“We are training the next generation of catering and hospitality experts both in our classrooms and working with employers through apprenticeships, so it is fantastic to be able to inspire them by helping to showcase successful businesses in the sector.
“I am very proud of our catering and hospitality staff and students who have worked hard to prepare and serve an amazing meal for guests, which highlights the quality of their work and their professional approach.”
Lesley Waters added: “Having worked in education myself as a former Head Tutor of Leith’s School of Food & Wine and now owning my own cookery school, it is very exciting to see Chesterfield College and its budding chefs of the future so actively involved with the town’s foremost food and drink event.”
The winners of the 2018 Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards are:
Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council
Bottle and Thyme
Cafe/Tea Room of the Year – sponsored by Kier
Stephenson’s Tea and Coffee House
Gastro Pub of the Year – sponsored by Derbyshire Building Control Partnership
The Market Pub
Pub/Bar of the Year – sponsored by Banner Jones Solicitors
Chesterfield’s Best Newcomer – sponsored by BHP Chartered Accountants
Ciuri Ciuri Restaurant
Best Customer Service – sponsored by East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire)
Best Out of Town – sponsored by Shorts Chartered Accountants
The Tickled Trout
International Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by MSE Hiller
Family Friendly Award – sponsored by Jumble Creative Design
Conference and Banqueting Venue of the Year
Ringwood Hall Hotel & Spa
Food Producer of the Year – sponsored by Winster Foods
Cup and Saucer
Young Chef of the Year – sponsored by Owen Taylor & Sons
Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by Apprentice Town (Led by Chesterfield Borough Council)
Corey Elliott, The Lilypad Café & Restaurant
Apprentice Employer of the Year – Sponsored by Learning Unlimited (The Chesterfield College Group)
Stephenson’s Tea & Coffee House
Chesterfield Food Hero – Sponsored by Casa Hotel
Chris Radford, Managing Director and Head Brewer at Brampton Brewery
Other supporters of the awards include Derbyshire Times, Elder Way (Jomast Developments), FEAST (The Food and Drink Forum) Hoods Florist, Juxta-Post Media, Peak FM, Steve Faulkner and Reflections.
For more information about the Chesterfield Food and Drink awards, please visit: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/foodanddrinkawards/.