Alexia Ross of No1 Ship Street collects their Best Restaurant award with the team. Picture by Ed Nix

We are still reeling and bursting with pride after Oxfordshire’s top chefs, cafes, restaurants and pubs were all celebrated last night at our glittering awards ceremony held at The North Wall in Summertown.

The first Ox In A Box Food Awards event was a spectacular success and more than 120 finalists, and guests enjoyed a black tie champagne reception before chef Alex Mackay and Raymond Blanc took to the stage with the Ox In A Box team to present the awards.

And the winners were:

Best Restaurant: No1 Ship Street, Oxford

Picture by Ed Nix

Best Café: The Milk Shed, Weston-on-the-Green

Cinnamon Stick and At The Bus with Raymond Blanc. Picture by Ed Nix

Best Chef:  Paul Welburn

Picture by Ed Nix

Best Gastro Pub: The White Hart, Fyfield

Picture by Ed Nix

Best Pub: The Chester Arms, Oxford

Picture by Ed Nix

Best Global Winner: Spiced Roots, Cowley Road

The Oxinabox Food Awards 27/01/2020 Picture by Ed Nix

Best Vegetarian/Vegan: The Cinnamon Stick, Middle Barton

The Oxinabox Food Awards 27/01/2020 Picture by Ed Nix

Best Newcomer: The Mole, Oxford

Here is a full list of the finalists

The Overall Winner was Spiced Roots

As well as the eight main categories, there was also a special Lifetime Achievement Award which went to Clinton Pugh, for transforming Oxford’s culinary landscape with his numerous, unique eateries.

The Oxinabox Food Awards 27/01/2020 Picture by Ed Nix

One finalist said: “This is exactly what we have needed for a long time. It has been a fantastic event and a chance to truly celebrate and be recognised for what we all do. It is fantastic to be acknowledged in this way – we can’t wait for next year’s awards evening!”

We wanted to celebrate the very best food that Oxfordshire has to offer and acknowledge the enormous amount of hard work that goes in to running eateries. Our Food Awards also gave us the chance to bring people together to have a well-deserved night off, meet up and talk about their businesses over some delicious drinks and canapes.

Special guest Raymond Blanc who presented the awards said: “I was delighted to be asked to present the awards and acknowledge all the fantastic chefs, pubs, cafes and restaurants in Oxfordshire. Ox In A Box is a big success and will go on to even greater things I am sure.”

The Oxinabox Food Awards 27/01/2020 Picture by Ed Nix

The Food Awards were sponsored by local companies who support the food industry. Headline sponsors were Goldstar Recruitment who place staff in pubs and restaurants across the county.

The canapes were specially designed for the occasion by Head Chef Sean Dulcie from Oxford Fine Dining and the wine and champagne that flowed throughout the evening was supplied by The Oxford Wine Company. The award winning Chalgrove Artisan Distillery gave guests the chance to try their delicious gin, and KBE Drinks supplied Japanese and Sardinian beer.

Our chosen charity At The Bus also benefited from the event and we are thrilled to be supporting the vital work they do by offering art therapy to children and young people who are coping with mental health challenges.

The response from everyone has been overwhelming. The Food Awards have surpassed our expectations and it was great to see everyone having such a fantastic time.

When voting opened the response was incredible. So many people went online to vote that our website crashed! The winners were decided entirely on the public vote – this really was all about customers voting for their choice and we are so proud to have done this in a genuine and authentic way.

Our first ever Food Awards event was an amazing success and next year’s looks set to be even bigger and better. Thank you to everyone who has supported us – our sponsors, all the finalists and nominees, our winners, guests, The North Wall and thanks to you our readers for sharing, supporting and voting.

We are off to lie down in a dark room for a bit!

Picture by Ed Nix


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