Oliver Awards 2024: Meet the host of the Leeds food and drink awards as location confirmed

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It’s one of the biggest dates in the calendar for Leeds’ hospitality industry.

For 15 years, the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Oliver Awards have celebrated the finest talent in the city’s vibrant food and drink scene - from tiny takeaways to exclusive fine-dining institutions.

And entries are now open for the Oliver Awards 2024, crowning the city’s best restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes, hotels, takeaways and chefs. Leeds businesses and chefs can now enter on the new Oliver Awards website.

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The location of the glamorous awards ceremony can now be unveiled. The awards will take place at New Dock Hall, Leeds Dock, on Monday March 18.

Award-winning radio presenter Rich Williams will return to host the Yorkshire Evening Post's Oliver Awards 2024 (Photo by Gerard Binks)Award-winning radio presenter Rich Williams will return to host the Yorkshire Evening Post's Oliver Awards 2024 (Photo by Gerard Binks)
Award-winning radio presenter Rich Williams will return to host the Yorkshire Evening Post's Oliver Awards 2024 (Photo by Gerard Binks) | Gerard Binks

Kicking off at 7pm, guests will enjoy a three-course dinner before the ceremony begins, crowning the winners across 17 categories.

2024 sees the return of Best Brunch and an exciting new category, Rising Star, which will celebrate the best young or up-and-coming chefs of Leeds. At the end of the ceremony, the judges will crown Leeds’ Overall Restaurant of the Year - scooped by Prashad last year.

Tickets are now available on the Oliver Awards website. Sponsoring the awards this year are ReFood, Chef Works, Royal Armouries and Fearns.

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Meet our host Rich Williams 

After making his debut last year, award-winning radio presenter Rich Williams will return to host the 2024 Oliver Awards awards ceremony. 

Currently working across the Virgin Radio network, he was the Arqiva Commercial Radio Presenter Of The Year and twice nominated for further Breakfast Show awards during his time at Radio Aire, now Pulse 1, after which he presented across Yorkshire on the Heart network.

Alongside radio work, Rich is regularly on screen hosting shows for his beloved Leeds United TV.

When he’s not working in radio and TV, Rich is an award-winning writer of children’s books, having been commissioned to write stories about Team GB Paralympic Athletes ahead of the 2021 Games.

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How to enter the Oliver Awards 2024

Any business with an LS postcode, and/or in the Leeds City Council district, can enter the 2024 awards. You can find out more about the criteria for each category and submit your entries on the Oliver Awards website.

The Oliver Awards ceremony 2023 (Photo by Gerard Binks)The Oliver Awards ceremony 2023 (Photo by Gerard Binks)
The Oliver Awards ceremony 2023 (Photo by Gerard Binks) | Gerard Binks

Businesses can enter up to three categories each, and judges will be looking for detailed entries that match the category description. Judging will begin once nominations close at 10pm on Sunday February 11.

All finalists and winners will be eligible for the Overall Restaurant of the Year award, which will be picked by the judges and announced during the ceremony in March.

The full list of categories 

  • Best Cafe or Deli
  • Best Bar
  • Best Brunch
  • Sustainability Award
  • Best Speciality
  • Best World Restaurant
  • Best Hotel Restaurant
  • Best Pub or Brewery
  • Best Takeaway
  • Best Family-Friendly Award
  • Newcomer of the Year
  • Best Customer Service
  • Rising Star Award
  • Best Fine Dining Experience
  • Outstanding Contribution
  • Chef of the Year

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