IT’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we launched our 10th annual Yorkshire Evening Post Oliver Awards but it’s that time of the year again... and as we proudly launch the 11th dining industry awards, we have some changes in store.
We’ve listened to you, the reader and we’ve also taken feedback from the very people who make the awards possible - those who work in the industry, the restaurant owners, chefs and managers.
As a result, we’ve overhauled our categories to make them more reflective of the current dining scene.
For the first time, we are honouring local breweries. The Oliver Awards can no longer afford to ignore the presence and impact of small and micro brewers, of which there are hundreds in Leeds. We also have a new People’s Oliver, decided entirely by you and we have separated ‘cafe/bar’ into two distinct categories.
But perhaps the biggest and most important change this year is the introduction of a brand new expert judging panel.
The Oliver Awards is based on the weekly restaurant reviews published every Thursday in the YEP. However, from this year, we will also be taking into account the professional opinons of our new expert judges and we will be introducing them to you properly next week.
See our dedicated website HERE.
For the time being, however, they are: consultant chef Stephanie Moon, winner of last year’s Outstanding Achievement award and a well recognised name within the industry. A Yorkshire farmer’s daughter, Stephanie trained at Craven College, Skipton, gained experience at The Dorchester in London and was then taken on by world famous chef Anton Mosimann. During this time she cooked for the Queen at a state banquet.
Alonsgside her, we are proud to welcome food writer Amanda Wragg, who has worked in the hospitality industry for years. Born in Sheffield, she grew up in her parents’ pub in the Peak District and was ‘pulling pints by the time she was 10’. She came to Leeds to study and worked in many bars and restaurants, before joining Yorkshire TV as a scriptwriter and later producer. She writes for The Sunday Times, Sawday’s Special Places and for many years worked on the Yorkshire Food & Drink Awards. She said: “I am really chuffed to be involved. I think the Leeds dining scene has improved massively in the last 20 years.”
And last but definitely not least is esteemed beer writer, author and journalist Simon Jenkins, a doyen of the local brewing circuit and a man who certainly knows his beer from his brandy wine.
He said: “I’m so looking forward to helping judge the Oliver Awards. Yorkshire has an abundance of fabulous restaurants, serving a host of different cuisines – and it will be an absolute pleasure to help choose the very best to receive these prestigious prizes.”
NOMINATE AND CAST YOUR VOTE
One of the best ways to lend your support to the local dining scene - apart from booking a table of course - is to vote in the YEP Oliver Awards.
Over the years, we have helped identify rising stars well before they have achieved national acclaim. We did this with Michelin-listed Theravadu, Bondobust and The Man Behind The Curtain. We are also proud to be a champion of local independent restaurants, helping to identify rising stars within the industry.
You can let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or logging onto our website.