BBC presenter to host Diamond Awards 2014

Television presenter Sarah Falkland is to host the HEART of ENGLAND fine foods (HEFF) Diamond Awards 2014, it was announced today.

The popular BBC journalist and face of BBC Midlands Today news bulletins will host the Gala Dinner at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole NEC on May 10.

Now in their seventh year, the awards have become a firm fixture in the calendar for the region's specialist food producers, retailers and hospitality providers.

A true celebration of the fabulous food and drink produced in the heart of England, the gourmet menu will be prepared by a brigade of some of the finest West Midlands' chefs.

Chief Executive of HEART of ENGLAND fine foods, Karen Davies MBE, said: “We're delighted that Sarah is hosting our Gala Dinner for the 2014 Diamonds Awards, a prestigious event which highlights how strong the food sector is in the heart of England. And of course, Sarah has often covered news of HEFF member achievements so I'm sure she will be familiar with many of their success stories!

“The standard of entries has this year been incredibly high once again so we are very much looking forward to celebrating with finalists and the winners on the night.”

The finalists, spread across ten categories, were announced at the high profile Food & Drink Expo event at the NEC in Birmingham on March 24.

The shortlisted companies are vying for success across the following categories: alcoholic drinks; bakery and confectionery; condiments and preserves; dairy; desserts; fresh meat poultry and game; prepared foods; prepared meats; prepared snacks and soft drinks.

In addition, there will once again be the four Special Diamond Awards of GROW, INNOVATE, TASTE and EXCEL. With the exception of TASTE, these awards will recognise a business achievement rather than a product.  And for the first time, votes for one of the awards are being registered via Twitter at @HEFFlocalfood.  The EXCEL award recognises the best use of social media by a HEFF producer.

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