Three Sussex Street Food vendors were announced as Grand Finalists in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2020 at the Street Food Finals held at the Carfax in Horsham yesterday [Sunday 27 October]. Glorious autumn sunshine attracted huge crowds to come and enjoy delicious taster plates from the top Sussex Street Food finalists together with great live music and local produce and gift stalls.

Mann & Moore from Horsham in West Sussex, Pizza Leonati from Ninfield in East Sussex, and The BBQ Project from St Leonards on Sea in Hastings in East Sussex, were declared Grand Finalists 2020 and received high praise from Michelin starred executive chef Jean Delport from Restaurant Interlude in Horsham. Others on the judging panel included Cllr Paul Clarke, Cabinet Member for Local Economy & Parking for Horsham District Council, Steve Holloway from JPI Media and Sam Harrington-Lowe from Title Media supported by the public votes on the day.

Sponsors of the Street Food category, Horsham District Foodies supported by Food Rocks, organised the exciting market day, which saw current reigning Sussex Street Food champions Mann & Moore deliver a variety of excellent barbequed and smoked meats to earn them another spot on the Grand Finalists list this year. New contestants Pizza Leonati presented delicious, freshly made pizzas from their four separate ovens and Grand Finalists from 2019 The BBQ Project, also impressed the judging panel again with their incredibly tasty slow barbequed dishes.

Jean Delport said, “Today has been just fantastic with all the Street Food vendors showing huge diversity and individual style. They are all passionate and invested in what they are creating and the dishes we have tasted have been packed full of flavour. The atmosphere has been wonderful and I’ve been so impressed with the high standard that has been presented to us today with the emphasis on using wonderful local Sussex produce.”

Other finalists who participated in this exciting event included: gorgeous Asian fusion dishes from Chu Chu Burmese Kitchen in Hove; mouthwatering homemade burgers, Indian and Thai dishes as well as Italian delights from Duffs Diner in Newick; delectable home-made dishes with award winning sauces from Ginger Rookes in Horsham; beautiful South American fusion dishes from Penelope’s Pitstop in St Leonards on Sea; plant powered street food including fully loaded chilli burritos, wraps and an array of salads from Plant Play in Worthing and finally The Buffalo Burger Company from East Grinstead with some of the best burgers on the Sussex street food scene.

Said Cllr Paul Clarke, “We are delighted to be supporting the Sussex Food and Drink Awards for the fourth year running with this hugely exciting and growing category of Street Food. We found it incredibly difficult to separate the food offers we tasted today as the quality was so high, so congratulations to everyone who took part. What a superb event for Horsham to host, attracting people from far and wide offering them the opportunity to taste delicious food using first-class ingredients from Sussex.”

The three Street Food of the Year 2020 Grand Finalists will join 400 guests at a BAFTA-style ceremony on 29 April 2020 at the Amex Stadium in Brighton, where the winners of all the awards categories will be revealed and guests will enjoy a seven-course Sussex produce banquet, hosted by awards patron Sally Gunnell OBE and Danny Pike from BBC Sussex.