Northumberland restaurant shortlisted for best newcomer at national awards
A Northumberland restaurant continues to find reasons to smile and celebrate amidst the challenges of the Covid-19 disruption.
Restaurant Hjem, in Wall, near Hexham, has been shortlisted in the category of newcomer for the prestigious Catey Awards 2020.
Restaurant manager, Ally Thompson, who runs the restaurant and adjoining pub, The Hadrian with her partner and Hjem head chef Alex Nietosvuori, said: “We were thrilled to get this lovely news and the whole team are delighted.
“The Cateys are known as a benchmark of excellence throughout the hospitality industry and so it’s a real honour to have made the shortlist.”
Previous winners at The Cateys, first held in 1984, include Raymond Blanc, Gordon Ramsey, Heston Blumenthal, Tom Kerridge and Brian Turner.
The finalists were selected following a series of virtual judging sessions. They will be celebrated and the winners revealed at a digital ceremony in November.
Restaurant Hjem will line up alongside Brat, London; Cornerstone, London; The Fordwich Arms, Kent; and The Little Chartroom, Edinburgh in the newcomer category.
Editor of The Caterer magazine, James Stagg said: "The 2020 Cateys recognise the most talented individuals, the biggest brands and strongest performers in the hospitality industry.
"There will be some changes to the way we celebrate them this year… but The Caterer is determined that the industry continues to have the opportunity to applaud its finest and celebrate excellence.”
The news comes just weeks after it was awarded Bronze in the Taste of England category at the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2020.
It was the latest in an ever-growing list of accolades for the fine dining restaurant which combines the best local produce with Scandinavian values and cooking techniques.
Three months worth of bookings are typically snapped up in a matter of hours, with the restaurant currently fully booked until the end of 2020.
Ally said: “It’s also always a thrill to be banging the drum for Northumberland - shining a light on amazing produce and suppliers we’re so lucky to have on our doorstep.
“We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved so far and being recognised by The Cateys is really special for us. We’re very much looking forward to the ceremony in November – even though we’ll have to enjoy it from the comfort of our own Hjem!”