What's new this month...
West Sussex food and drink at Houses of Parliament
Festive recipe of the month
Ridgeview crowned World's Best Winemarket
Vote in Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2019
Hampshire Fare wins British Food Fortnight competition
Seeking the best Sussex young chefs, farmers and newcomers
Dates for your Diary

Natural Partnerships CIC is a not for profit organisation set up to help promote food and farming projects and local producers. 

Paula Seager   
Hilary Knight

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South Downs Foodie News  
Decem ber 2018

Hello South Downs Foodies,
We wish you a merry Christmas and local foodie fun!  We're here to help you find the very best local food and drink for your Christmas tables - so read on and use our resources to help your family celebrate with delicious local fare this year. 

Thank you for supporting us in 2018 - it's great being part of such a lovely, local, food-loving community!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hilary Knight and Paula Seager  

Finding local Christmas fare and places to eat      

Make sure you book your Christmas meat and other fare from local butchers and food shops. There are some great ones to choose from, serving excellent local produce - if you live in Sussex, you have only to look at the Finalists in Sussex Food & Drink Awards at www.sussexfoodawards.biz

And don't forget to use the South Downs Food Finder, which covers the wider South Downs region, to find fantastic local food and drink - use the simple search function to find farm shops, local producers and great places to eat local fare this Christmas. 

West Sussex food & drink showcase at Houses of Parliament         

We were proud to help take a West Sussex food & drink showcase to the Houses of Parliament in November, with MasterChef Champion 2018 Kenny Tutt making a special appearance.
MPs enjoyed tastings from 16 artisan producers from across West Sussex, a county which is becoming increasingly well-known as a foodie destination.
The showcase was hosted by Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West working with West Sussex County Council. Other MPs attending included Tim Loughton MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Nick Herbert MP for Arundel and South Downs, Gillian Keegan MP for Chichester, Henry Smith MP for Crawley and others from outside West Sussex, including Chi Onwurah MP, Liz Truss MP and Jo Churchill MP.
Leader of West Sussex County Council, Louise Goldsmith, said, "West Sussex is a fantastic foodie destination with so many amazing experiences for visitors to enjoy and it was a pleasure to see MPs from other parts of the country enjoying a taste of what our amazing county has to offer."
Cheese producers High Weald Dairy and Bookham Harrison Farms offered tastings of their superb, award-winning cheeses, including Sussex Charmer, which won Best British Cheddar at the 2017 Quality Food Awards.  Sparkling and still wines from Bolney Wine Estate, Highdown Vineyard and Wiston Estate Winery were sampled, alongside Silly Moo Cider, gin from Slake Spirits, Wobblegate apple juices and ciders and ales from Hepworths and Co Brewers. Locally roasted and blended teas and coffees from Edgcumbes were on show, as well as beautiful chocolates and sweet treats from Frog Hollow Catering and Noble and Stace chocolatiers and honey from South Downs Honey. Baked delights were served by The Artisan Bakehouse, also known for its superb baking courses and experiences, as well as gingerbread people from Sam's Kitchen and award-winning pies, quickes and sausages from renowned farm shop Rushfields. 
More foodie experiences can be discovered at  www.experiencewestsussex.com

Thank you to Philippa Vine at Bluebell Farmhouse Cookery School for this month's superb, South Downs festive recipe: Pear and Chocolate Tart. It makes a delicious alternative for families who don't like Christmas pudding, using seasonal pears and superb lightly sweetened pastry case. This is the perfect mince pie pastry as well!! 

Philippa has just announced a new programme of tasty seasonal cookery courses, held at her lovely farmhouse kitchen in Arlington, East Sussex.

Ridgeview crowned World's Best Winemaker 

Ridgeview Crowned World's Best Winemaker International Wine & Spirit Competition 2018
Congratulations to Ridgeview who were awarded the coveted trophy of Winemaker of the Year in the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition 2018 in November. This is the first time in the IWSC's 49-year history that this has been presented to an English producer. The IWSC attracts entries from over 90 countries and is seen as a benchmark for quality with over 400 global experts assisting with the judging. The award was announced at the Guildhall in London with guests gathered from the global wine world.  

Help us get record voting this year in the Sussex Food & Drink!   

We've already counted in over 7,500 votes from the public in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2019 and we'd love to beat last year's  record of 15,000 votes. Please vote now for your favourites from the Finalists in each of the following categories:
Sussex Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Southern Co-op
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, sponsored by Natural PR
Sussex Food Shop of the Year, sponsored by Sussex Food and Drink Network
Sussex Butcher of the Year, sponsored by RP Meats Wholesale Ltd
Sussex Farmers Market of the Year, sponsored by Harvey's Brewery
Sussex Eating Experience of the Year, sponsored by Natural Partnerships CIC

  Vote now at:    www.sussexfoodawards.biz  
Hampshire Fare announced as British Food Fortnight Winner!    

Congratulations to Hampshire Fare who won the British Food Fortnight competition for the most imaginative and inclusive celebrations of local food and the harvest. Entries were received from across the country and included pre-schools, school meals, care homes, hospitals and community festivals.

Hampshire Fare worked with Year 5 pupils at Bartley Junior School near Southampton. Honesty Group, Lyburn FarmNew Forest Fruits and Naked Jam all led sessions covering topics such as how bread is made, fruit growing, jam making and the production of artisan cheese.
Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare commented: "We are over the moon to have won the competition and feel honoured, especially knowing just how many fantastic events and activities took place across the country during the fortnight.

After being inspired by the events in Emsworth for British Food Fortnight, we arranged an event at Wicor School. Every year since we have selected a new school to work with whilst the previous school has gone on to hold their own event in subsequent years. In this way, we planted a small seed and slowly it is growing in impact across the county."

Looking for the best Sussex young chefs, farmers and newcomers in food & drink! 

A new and exciting, first-class line up of judges for the prestigious Sussex Young Chef of the Year 2019 competition has been announced this week, who are seeking  top Sussex chefs aged 16 to 25 years to submit their entries before they close on 17 January 2019.
Nationally acclaimed chef , Matt Gillan from Pike and Pine/Red Roaster, Brighton and Electro Pirate will head up the new panel which includes fellow Michelin star chefs George Blogg from Gravetye Manor near East Grinstead and Tristan Mason from Tristan's in Horsham; Daniel Clifford from the renowned two Michelin star Midsummer House in Cambridge; Fran Villiani, Food Blogger and designer in Brighton; and sponsor and former restaurateur, Adrian Burr from Blakes Foods. 
This popular category, sponsored by Blakes Foods, is always bursting with talent and those making it through to the shortlist from their written application will have to prepare and produce a full three-course menu in a MasterChef style cook off, which takes place in March 2019 at the Gallery at the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College. Do you know someone who fits the bill? 
Two other categories remain open for entries until 17 January 2019, including Young Sussex Farmer of the Year, seeking a farmer aged 35 or under, who is making a real difference on their own or on someone else's farm, sponsored by the South of England Agricultural Society in association with Farmers Weekly; and Sussex Newcomer of the Year sponsored by SRC-Time (see judges Michael Riazi and Hannah Thatcher from SRC-Time to the left), which could be any new food and drink business doing something special in Sussex. 

 Enter  now at:    www.sussexfoodawards.biz  
~ Foodie events in Sussex and the South Downs ~ 
Dates for your diary...
December  - Bolney Wine Tours - Bolney Estate, West Sussex - www.bolneywineestate.com

December - Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, Bar & Kitchen - Brighton - www.royalpaviionicerink.co.uk

7 December - Chichester Farmers Market - https://www.facebook.com/ChichesterFarmersMarket/

8 December - Shoreham Christmas Farmers Market - https://www.facebook.com/shorehamfarmersmarket/

9 December - Winchester Farmers Market - www.hampshirefarmersmarkets.co.uk

15 December - Lewes Farmers Market - https://www.facebook.com/lewesfarmersmarket/

15 December - Emsworth Farmers Market - www.hampshirefarmersmarkets.co.uk 

Find out about more exciting local food and drink events in the South Downs Food What's On Calendar here

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