Winners of Milton Keynes Food and Leisure Awards 2021 revealed

Evening hosted by broadcaster Chris Gregg and Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms

Friday, 12th November 2021, 9:24 am
Updated Friday, 12th November 2021, 9:26 am

The Milton Keynes Food and Leisure Awards were back with a glitzy evening to celebrate and reward the worthy winners for 2021, raising more than £2,000 on the night for Willen Hospice.

The awards took place at Jury’s Inn in Milton Keynes on November 7 and co-hosted by broadcaster and corporate fundraiser Chris Gregg and Olympic silver medallist, Gail Emms. This year's winners included:

Best Restaurant - Fratelli Cucina Italiana, Woburn;

Headline sponsor for this year's Food and Leisure Awards was Safenames

Best Street Food - Baja Cantina;

Service Staff of the Year - Jack Robinson, The Caldecotte Bar & Grill;

Best Newcomer - The Quirk Space, Olney;

Best Independent Takeaway - Oleevo Pizza, Broughton;

Best Pub - The Old Swan, Astwood;

Asian Restaurant of the Year - Jalori, Woburn Sands;

Best Family Restaurant - Ole Tapas Bar & Restaurant, Wolverton;

Bar of the Year - Be At One, The Hub CMK;

Hotel of the Year - Swan Revived Hotel, Newport Pagnell;

MK’s Top Attraction - Formula Fast Indoor Karting, Bletchley;

MK's Favourite National Chain - Miller & Carter, Shenley Church End;

Best Coffee Business/Café - Olney Pancake Parlour, Olney;

Best Local Produce: Food - Foxdenton Rum & Raisin Ice Cream, The Willen Ice Cream Company;

Best Local Produce: Drink - Heritage No.1 Oak Rested Gin, Silverstone Distillery.

Steven Dryden-Hall, founder of the Milton Keynes Food and Leisure Awards said: “I am so delighted to have been able to get people from the hospitality and leisure industry back into a room to celebrate the great food and service provided in Milton Keynes. After a testing 18 months it is fantastic to see local businesses back on their feet and doing so well, something that is really evident in the amount of entrants and votes we’ve had this year. Well done to all finalists and winners of the 2021 awards.”

Entrants had the opportunity to gather public votes throughout the summer with a total of 12,615 votes cast The top 10 entrants with the most votes were selected as finalists. The awards' experienced judges then visited the locations as secret shoppers, judging against specific criteria for each category, including value for money, taste, service and more. The entrants which met the criteria to the highest standard were then appointed the winners.

The Best Local Produce category was judged at Paris House by head chef, Phil Fanning and Hazel Roberts, Owner of Homegrown, while the Chef of the Year was a cook-off between MK chefs which took place at MK College. Each chef had to cook two starters from a mystery box, two main courses of their choice and two desserts for which they were given the recipes. This was judged by Dean Hoddle-Smith, Silverstone Race Course executive chef and Trevor Garrod, a specialist who has over 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry.

On the evening, guests were greeted with champagne provided by Champagne Fire Truck and freshly brewed coffee from the Wooden Hill Coffee. Behind the scenes, The Brother’s Supper cooked a delicious three course meal for the 274 guests and were also supported in the kitchen by hospitality and catering students from MK College. The meat for the main course was supplied by Smith and Clay of Buckingham and the fish for the starter by GCH Fishmongers from Bedford.

Mr Dryden-Hall added: “A huge thank-you goes to all those involved in making this night as special as it was, particularly the team at WAC Agency and all our sponsors. We are already looking forward to next year’s awards which are going to be really big. 2022 marks the 10th anniversary of the awards so it's definitely an evening you won't want to miss."