A chance to vote for your favourite eateries

Do you know an unsung local food hero who deserves a break?

Sheffield’s thriving dining scene, which came in for special praise in the latest Good Food guide, is back in the spotlight again.

And this time, it’s the public’s turn to single out those who deserve a slice of the pie.

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Voting for the Eat Sheffield Food and Restaurant Awards 2011 is under way and the call goes out to anyone and everyone to nominate their favourite eateries and food specialists – be it a posh-nosh silver service restaurant, the little tea shop where they get the best cuppa and cake they’ve ever tasted, the great grub down at their local pub or the deli and farm shop that never fails to provide quality produce.

“These awards are for everyone. It’s just as much about finding all those unsung people running little cafes and delis in back-streets as it is about singing the praises of the leading lights in the local restaurant scene,” says Eat Sheffield manager Niki Baker.

“And let’s not forget these are difficult times for people running food businesses. They need all the support they can get.”

The awards, now in their fourth year, allow individuals to nominate five of their favourite food heroes. Already some 5,000 votes have been cast and last year’s figure of 10,000 looks to be smashed by the October 17 closing date.

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Organised by Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University and sponsored this year by Brownill Vickers, the awards aim to celebrate the city’s culinary diversity and creativity.

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Says Niki: “It’s all about putting the city’s restaurants, bars, cafés and delis on the map – showing everyone what there is here in Sheffield.

“And it’s working. We’re sure The Eat Sheffield Awards are what got the attention of the Good Food Guide.”

Winners, including those for two new categories, the most green and sustainable food business and the best traditional pub, will be announced on October 24 at the St Paul’s Mercure Hotel.

Voting cards can be picked up at local restaurants and cafes. Votes can also be done online at www.eatsheffield.com/resturantawards or at www.twtpoll.com/i8lhcq