We’ve got a longer feature on the Liverpool Food and Drink Awards elsewhere on the site, but below are the headline winners from this year’s event.
They happen to contain a lot of our personal favourites from around the city, but knowing that only those outlets that take part in the Food and Drink Festival launch – ergo only those who pay to play – are involved rather robs the awards of their authority in our view.
That’s no slight on those who did participate, but among some of our favourite Liverpool eateries a number didn’t get so much as a nomination, apparently simply because they didn’t participate in the festival.
“Talk is cheap,” Michelin-starred Marc Wilkinson of Fraiche told us back in May, having decided to spend any available cash on the restaurant, rather than public relations.
“I’ve seen too many bad restaurants employ PR to drum up exposure in the press, only to close down a couple of years later,” said Wilkinson. “It’s what you put on your plates that counts.”
That’s certainly the hope, but look down the list of the following Food and Drink Awards winners over the last three years.
They include some of the best of Liverpool – but they ignore many others that are as good, if not better.
Until the awards are city-wide and constitute a voting process that can’t be skewed by PR activities or block voting, they remain merely a taster board of our city’s gastronomy – rather than the full menu.
Liverpool 2011 Food and Drink Awards winners
Liverpool’s Favourite Restaurant – Puschka
Restaurant of Overall Excellence – 60 Hope Street
Favourite European Restaurant – Lunya
Outstanding Customer Service – Bem Brazil
Favourite Bar or Pub award – the Hub Alehouse and Kitchen (pictured, below)
Most Family Friendly Restaurant – Yo Sushi
Favourite Independent Cafe or Coffee Shop – Bold Street Coffee
Favourite International Restaurant – Sapporo Teppanyaki
Favourite Neighbourhood Restaurant – Almond
Liverpool’s Favourite Food Producer – Liverpool Cheese Company
Favourite Sunday Lunch – The Swan
Restaurant of Excellence – 60 Hope Street
Liverpool 2010 Food and Drink Awards winners
Most Child-friendly Restaurant – Wagamama
Best Value for Money – Buffet Club
The People of Liverpool’s Favourite Restaurant – Lunya (pictured below)
Best Promotion of the Festival – Skinnimalinx
Best Customer Service – Delifonseca
Best Small Independent Restaurant – Almond
Best Bar – Alma de Cuba
Restaurant of Overall Excellence – The London Carriage Works
Liverpool 2009 Food and Drink Awards winners
Best restaurant – The Italian Fish Club
Best Bar – The London Carriage Works
Restaurant of Excellence – Delifonseca