North East finalists in Food Awards will be in hot competition for Restaurant of the Year and other titles

ByDerrick V. Stutts

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A range of North East cuisine from family-made Italian dishes to a Michelin star fine dining will be tempting judges of The Food Awards England this summer.

The national awards body, which is out to celebrate the best of the food industry, has announced that five local eateries have made the finals in the Restaurant of the Year category and another is up for Fine Dining of the Year. A further 21 venues are also shortlisted in various categories, with winners to be announced in June.

On the Restaurant of the Year shortlist are three in Newcastle – Anna Hedworth’s Cook House; family-run Italian Mascalzone and Ponteland’s Tomahawk Steakhouse – plus there’s Träkol, at By The River Brew in Gateshead, and James Close’s Michelin winning Raby Hunt Inn & Restaurant in Darlington.

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Also sharing the North East finals category is a restaurant called Solita at Hull Marina. Kenny Atkinson’s House of Tides meanwhile is in the Fine Dining category, facing rivals Vice and Virtue, Leeds; Pascal at The Old Vicarage, Burton-on-Trent; L’Enclume, Cumbria; John’s House, Mountsorrel; Midsummer House, Cambridge; Latymer, Bagshot; Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms, Ormskirk and John’s House, Loughborough.

The new Tomahawk Steakhouse in Ponteland, Newcastle
The Tomahawk Steakhouse in Ponteland, Newcastle

As well as restaurants, cafes, gastropubs and takeaways, the awards also honour the likes of chefs, servers and suppliers. Other North East favourites have made the shortlist in various categories.. Here is the full line-up of local finalists.

Restaurant of the Year

Tomahawk Steakhouse – Ponteland

Träkol – Gateshead

Raby Hunt Inn & Restaurant – Darlington

Mascalzone – Newcastle

Cook House – Newcastle

James Close outside the Raby Hunt
James Close outside the Raby Hunt

Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year

House of Tides – Newcastle

Chef Kenny Atkinson of House of Tides
Chef Kenny Atkinson of House of Tides

Other North East venues on the shortlist

Cafe /Bistro of the Year

No4 – East Bolden

Station Five Deli – Eaglescliffe

Bistro Citron Vert – Durham

ARLO Bistro & Cafe – Newcastle

Bistro Romano – Sunderland

Gastro Pub of the Year

The Three Horseshoes – Blyth

Best Indian

Cookson Spice – Chester le Street

Vadah – Stockton-on-Tees

Best Italian

Uno Momento – Darlington

La Famiglia – Newcastle

Best Mediterranean

Sol Tapas Restaurant – Darlington

Best World Cuisine

Persian Cottage – Middlesbourgh

Manjaros – Middlesbourgh

Best Mexican

Little Mexico – Hexham

Best Seafood

Riley’s Fish Shack – Tynemouth

Joplins – Middlesbrough

Longsands Fish Kitchen – North Shields


Pizza Restaurant of the Year

Scream for Pizza  – Newcastle

Gingerino’s Kitchen – Newcastle

Buffet Restaurant of the Year

Aneesa’s Buffet Restaurant -Newcastle

A spokesman for the awards said: “England offers a wide range of places that serve world cuisines. The finalists were voted for by the public for providing authentic recipes and unique dishes to their diners, creating memorable experiences for both residents and visitors.

“Undoubtedly, there are some amazing specialists around the country, who know how to offer great service, delicious food and meet the expectations of their diners. These are the professionals that we aim to reward.”

Trakol inside the By the River Brew Co
Trakol inside the By the River Brew Co under the Tyne Bridge in Gateshead

Event planner Creative Oceanic will host the awards which will welcome food sector professionals from across the country at a black-tie ceremony in Manchester in June. Among the other awards to be announced will be Retail Bakery of the Year and Best World Cuisine. For the full list of awards and the finalists appearing alongside the North East venues on the shortlist see here.

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