Oliver Awards 2022: Why celebrating Leeds bars and restaurants is more important than ever - YEP Opinion

The Yorkshire Evening Post's Oliver Awards are back - bigger and better than ever before.
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Our 13th awards will highlight the incredible food and drink scene that we’re so lucky to have on our doorsteps in Leeds.

We have some new and re-worked categories to celebrate the achievements of Leeds restaurants, bars, pubs, takeaways and cafes in the face of unprecedented adversity due to the pandemic.

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Launched in 2008, the Oliver Awards were set up to tell the world about the flourishing Leeds dining scene and all it has to offer - from the finest city centre restaurants to cosy street food eateries in the suburbs.

Entries for the Oliver Awards 2022 are now openEntries for the Oliver Awards 2022 are now open
Entries for the Oliver Awards 2022 are now open
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Oliver Awards 2022: Entries now open as the Yorkshire Evening Post celebrates Le...

Not only have our city's venues managed to survive several lockdowns, tiered restrictions and huge financial strain, but we know many have gone above and beyond to help their communities during the pandemic.

This year, the new Outstanding Contribution award will recognise businesses that have achieved the extraordinary, overcome huge challenges or lent a helping hand over the last two years.

Other categories include Chef of the Year, Best Bar, Best Fine Dining Experience, Best Use of Outdoor Space, Best Brunch, Sustainability and Newcomer of the Year.

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I've had the honour of speaking to many chefs and businesses for the Big Leeds Weekend since we launched the supplement as the country reopened in April.

I've been blown away by their creativity and determination during an incredibly challenging time - whether that's transforming outdoor spaces to adapt to coronavirus restrictions, or launching menus which push the boundaries of the city’s dining scene.

We’ve sadly lost some fantastic venues along the way, but there have also been a raft of new restaurants and bars that have opened despite the pandemic.

Launching the awards earlier this week, YEP editor Laura Collins said: “Restaurants, bars and cafes have faced an uncertainty like no other after being forced to close their doors for months on end.

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“This is a chance to celebrate those who have worked incredibly hard to ensure our city's high streets remain as vibrant as ever as we celebrate our extraordinary dining scene."

Entries are now open and nominations will be judged by industry experts, before the winners are announced during a glamorous ceremony at Queens Hotel on March 28.

Businesses can submit their entries and find out more at www.oliverawards.co.uk - entries close on February 16.

Leeds’ food and drink scene rivals any city in the UK and although hospitality businesses have been some of the worst-hit by the pandemic, they are continuing to flourish and cater for our every occasion.

We hope you will join us in celebrating their efforts.

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