<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to Surrey Life today click here

Meet the 2017 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards judges

PUBLISHED: 08:33 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:34 02 May 2017

Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2017 judges

Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2017 judges


Celebrating the very best of our county’s fabulous food and drink offering, the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards are back for another year. With voting now open across 16 categories, from the best restaurants and pubs to local foodie shops, here we reveal this year’s judging panel...

Vote now!

Nominate your foodie favourites online at foodawards.surreylife.co.uk

Closing date for nominations: Friday July 28

Awards night at Foxhills: Thursday September 21


Sponsored by Partridge Muir & Warren: www.pmw.co.uk


Find our Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards hall of fame here



Steve Drake

Chef patron of Sorrel in Dorking (opening spring 2017) and director of The Anchor pub in Ripley

Formerly chef patron of Drake’s on the Pond in Abinger Hammer and Drake’s in Ripley, where I held Michelin stars, I’ve also worked in some of Europe’s best kitchens: Chez Nico at Ninety Park Lane; the Oak Room with Marco Pierre White; Pied a Terre; and Aubergine. I first rose to prominence when I won the Roux Scholarship in 2001. I’m currently working on dish development while overseeing the design and build of my third solo restaurant, Sorrel.


Tim Brennan

Owner of Godalming-based catering company, Caper and Berry

Having started in 2000, Caper and Berry is now one of the country’s leading event catering companies. The company caters at some of the finest events in the UK (including the Royal Academy of the Arts, the Henley Festival and the Farnborough Airshow) and were recently voted in the top 10 wedding caterers in London and South East by the Evening Standard. Locally, we also manage Loseley Park, including the Wisteria Tea Rooms, and Surrey Cricket Festival in Guildford. A self-confessed foodie with a love of trying new foods, I love Asian and Pacific Rim food with its fresh flavours and zing and am also passionate about local produce and producers.


Diana Roberts

Tourism marketing manager at Visit Guildford

In my job, I think it’s important that I practice what I preach – therefore I attend local events, shop local and explore our wonderful county – now with the added advantage of doing so through the eyes of my gorgeous grandson! Dining out is important and we always look for places that are genuinely family friendly. If the little ones are happy, then inevitably the older ones enjoy the experience more! In my work life, without a doubt, ‘where should we eat?’ has to be the most frequently asked question of visitors. The SLFDAs are an excellent opportunity to learn about new places that we can recommend to visitors.


Christopher Moore

Chief executive of The Clink Charity, which operates fine dining training restaurants and gardens within UK prisons

I started cooking with my mother at home at a young age and, by staying in hotels, got a taste for the industry. I trained as a chef at college in Leicester, and then won a scholarship to go to New York with Holiday Inn to join its management training programme. On returning to the UK, I joined Hilton Hotels and also spent time working in Amsterdam. I then joined Harrods and headed up its restaurants before joining Fenwick as head of group restaurants, which included the Bentalls stores. In 2010, I joined The Clink and I lead a team where we are able to train up to 160 prisoners a day over seven sites. I’m also vice chair of the Institute of Hospitality and a non-executive director of Westminster Abbey Enterprises.


Andrew Maxwell

Managing director at Tante Marie Culinary Academy in Woking

Since 1998, my career as a chef has taken me into some of the world’s most famous kitchens, from London to Sydney and back again. These days, it is graduates of Tante Marie Culinary Academy who are most likely to be found in such kitchens, following in my footsteps. In the meantime, when I’m not at our Woking-based academy, I’m most likely to be spotted zipping around the Surrey countryside on my bike, competing in a long-distance triathlon or just out for a bit of active family time.


Liane Jarman

Communications manager at the Surrey County Agricultural Society

I grew up in the Yorkshire Pennines and have always loved the countryside and animals, spending much of my childhood hanging around on local farms. Now settled in Surrey, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work for SCAS. The job is not just about the Surrey County Show, it’s about supporting, promoting and educating on all things rural, from beekeeping, producing local food and drink and raising livestock. When I’m not working, you’ll find me enjoying the countryside either on my bike, on my horse or with my labradoodle, Dexter.


Professor Andrew Lockwood

Forte professor of hospitality management in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey

I was born and bred in Yorkshire – first in the family bakery and then the family hotel. I came down to Surrey as a student and, apart from brief spells in York and Scarborough, I have spent most of my working life here. As a professor, I am supposed to know a lot about hotels and restaurants – and to be fair, I do – but in experiencing any hospitality operation, I am always on the look out to learn more about the industry that I have a lifetime passion for. I still have a lot to learn!


Anita Eves

Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Surrey

Eating out is one of the great pleasures in my life, whether locally or in far-flung places. Food tells us so much about a place and its culture, and both the food and the way it is served contribute to a memorable experience. I am looking forward this year to rewarding great customer service, where people go that extra mile to give the customer what they need. Other than work and eating out as often as I can, what do I do with myself? Well, travel is another passion, as is singing in my local choir – and you might even find me tap dancing!


Kenneth Bare

Vice-chairman of the Surrey Hills Society

Chance defines much of what happens in life. Following early retirement, I saw a poster for a new charity promoting my local countryside. I made contact and got drawn into a young SHS. That put me in the right place to meet lots of local people and learn more about rural Surrey. The next big chance was when the SLFDAs were first established. Our chairman was invited to be a judge but was away, so asked me to stand in for her. I did and was given the opportunity to judge Best Local Menu. In fairness, I did allow her to accompany me to the awards dinner that year. Since then, Surrey Life has been kind enough to invite me back each year to judge various categories.


Jo Oates

Marketing and brand consultant

Now a full time mum-of-one and expert coffee sampler, life has changed from my former role as communications manager at the Royal Automobile Club and prior to that marketing and PR manager at Foxhills. I now find myself supporting small to medium-size businesses with their marketing, branding and social media requirements in all areas from entertainment to artists and leisure. Being fully versed in where I can grab a cracking cuppa to who does a super sarnie and where on earth can I fit the buggy, nappy bag and still get a great fantastic feed while catching up with friends, I’m excited to be on board for a fourth year.


Jane Garrett

Journalist, food writer and rural life expert

I have lived and worked in the Surrey Hills all my life and my job as a journalist has enabled me to meet people who share a passion for country life and to discover the incredible creativity and entrepreneurial spirit driving rural businesses here. Surrey still has the most beautiful rural landscape and I love being a part of the community working to preserve and promote it and help it to be sustainable. I’m a bit eccentric! I’ve ridden in Civil War re-enactment battles as a sword fighting Cavalier, I grow my own veg, ring church bells, play in an orchestra, sing in choirs, keep chickens and horses and once had a three-horned Jacob ram who thought he was a dog (he travelled in my car and went for walks)… I rest my case!


Philippa Ratcliffe

Director of Root and Prosper food and music events company

I am an out and out foodie, incredibly passionate about it and always interested to learn more about dishes, products, their provenance and production techniques. My love of the delis and food shops on the continent, inspired me to open a deli in Berkshire. I have written for food websites, newspapers and been a mystery shopper for restaurants, pubs and hotels. Did I say I was into food? I now run my own events and PR company, creating and curating food and music events in the Surrey area. Researching abroad, visiting events, testing out new foods and traders is a really tough call but someone has to do it!


Jason Adams

General manager at Foxhills luxury resort in Ottershaw

Driving from my home in Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare, to Foxhills in the Surrey countryside is always a delight. Away from work, I enjoy going to football matches with my son and the Formula 1 at Silverstone. Ultimately, the whole family love food and drink and my son writes a blog online about his experiences in the gastronomic places that we visit. I’m very much looking forward to another year proudly hosting the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards at Foxhills, which we’ve supported since the very start, and I am hugely proud to be asked to judge a category.


Chris Howard

Chairman of Surrey Hills Society and Visit Surrey

I came as a backpacker from Australia after university, discovered the Surrey Hills and never left! I helped established the Surrey Hills Society, a charity set up to help promote and protect this specially designated area. Having worked in the tourism sector for many years, I have also been elected chairman of Visit Surrey, the “not for profit” tourist board for Surrey. My passions are walking in the Surrey Hills, gardening, singing in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas and writing for Surrey Life!


James Cannon

Breakfast Show co-presenter at BBC Surrey

I spend six days a week waking up Surrey from 6am on BBC Surrey, with my co-host Suzanne Bamborough. Growing up, I went to East Surrey College, in Redhill, and progressed into journalism working on various trade magazines before ending up as a finance reporter then a diary writer for national tabloid papers. I was lucky to fulfil my childhood ambition to work on the radio and, despite the early alarm clock, still enjoy every minute ‘on-air’. I also write a monthly column for Surrey Life – and have previously described judging the awards as one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, as there are always so many worthy candidates.


This very special award is chosen by Surrey Life editor Rebecca Younger and assistant editor Matthew Williams during discussions at our judges’ meeting.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Surrey visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Surrey staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Surrey account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

With voting open for the 2017 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards, here we catch up with a selection of last year’s award winning foodies to find out what success has meant for them

Read more

Every month in Surrey Life magazine we discover what inspires Surrey’s top chefs. Here we meet Matt Worswick, head chef at The Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park luxury hotel and spa in Bagshot

Read more
Friday, June 23, 2017

A venue that’s a home-from-home for its regulars, Red Bar and Lounge, in Dorking, treads the line between lively bar and fine dining. Matthew Williams visits and discovers a hidden gem

Read more
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Whatever the weather, us Brits love nothing more than firing up the barbecue come the summer – and who better to ask for the rules of his game than two-times Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards winner Simon Taylor from Oxshott’s Surrey Hills Butchers? No more burnt bangers…

Read more
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

From riverside retreats to secret gardens, we’ve got your summer covered with this selection of Surrey pubs that are perfect to enjoy your favourite tipple and a bite to eat in the sunshine

Read more
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The last decade has seen a micro-brewery explosion across the UK, with beer fanatics transforming farm buildings, garden sheds and forgotten business park corners into laboratories for beer exploration. Here we catch-up with some of Surrey’s top breweries and learn more about their beers

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Taking its name from the river that runs through the Surrey Hills, Tillingbourne Brewery sprung into life in 2011 in an off the beaten track location near Shere

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thurstons Brewery started life in the kitchen of The Crown pub in Horsell in 2012 and while their ambitions have since soared they still haven’t moved very far – next door, in fact

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thames Side Brewery owner Andrew Hayward realised a lifetime’s ambition to leave the insurance industry and start his own micro-brewery - and he even grows some of his own hops by the river now…

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Now based at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey Hills Brewery has gone from strength to strength in recent years, regularly picking up national awards

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Founded in 2012, Guildford-based Little Beer Corporation produces premium beers and is run with co-operative principles

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

The perfect place to stop off for a pint after a long walk or cycle up Leith Hill, The Plough at Coldharbour is also home to its own brewery

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Brewing in Tongham since 1992, Hogs Back Brewery made the ordering of a pint of TEA a thing in pubs across the country and is playing its part in the hop growing renaissance

Read more
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Running popular Fresh Beer Friday events at one of Surrey’s most picturesque farm shops, The Godstone Brewers were born in 2015

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Surrey Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Surrey's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search