Three Sussex Street Food vendors were announced as Grand Finalists in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2018 at a special event held at the Carfax in Horsham yesterday [Sunday 22 October], which attracted thousands of food lovers.

Garlic Wood Farm from Steyning, Jah Jyot from Henfield and Pig & Jacket from Lewes were declared Grand Finalists by former Masterchef: The Professionals Winner Steven Edwards, who led an expert judging panel with Ian Swainson, Head Chef from The Pass at the South Lodge Hotel and Cllr Peter Burgess representing sponsors Horsham Time Well Spent, supported by votes from the public.

Finalists invited to participate in yesterday’s event, included: a tempting global feast from Boca Loco in Arundel; fresh and healthy Vietnamese cuisine from CaPhe Republic in Southwick; delicious slow roasted meats from Forgotten Cuts in Brighton; Garlic Wood Farm in Steyning who creatively paired their top quality meats with seasonal local ingredients; and delectable home-made delights with award winning sauces from Ginger Rookes in Horsham.

A Punjabi feast from last year’s winner Jah Jyot in Henfield went head to head with succulent steak sandwiches from Steak Expectations in Horsham; irresistible melted cheese treats from Sussex Charmer on Toast in Rudgewick; perfect pork dishes from the Pig & Jacket in Lewes; and authentic wood fired pizzas from The Pizza Oven in Steyning.

Steven Edwards said, “I really enjoy coming to this fantastic event and being part of the judging process for the Street Food category in the Sussex Food and Drink Awards. I’m always blown away at how much Street Food is developing in Sussex and today we have sampled some of the very best diverse and delicious dishes that the county has to offer – it gets better every year!”

Ian Swainson, Head Chef of The Pass at South Lodge Hotel, said, “The food we’ve tasted today was excellent and it’s great to see such passion in the cooking – keep on doing what you’re doing!”

The three Grand Finalists are invited to the BAFTA-style Awards Banquet on 7 February 2018, hosted by awards patron, Sally Gunnell OBE and Danny Pike from BBC Sussex. Tickets are now on sale for this very special ceremony, which includes a spectacular seven-course Sussex produce banquet produced by Sodexo Prestige at the Amex Stadium.

Said Hilary Knight, co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC, organisers of the awards: “This is the third Sussex Street Food of the Year competition, which continues to grow in popularity with the public and our brilliant Sussex street food vendors certainly didn’t disappoint with some sensational street food today. The whole event has been a huge success with record crowds enjoying lots of different tasting portions that were available this year, along with some fantastic street entertainment and live music.”