THE people and places that make a west Dorset town a mecca for food enthusiasts were honoured by Bridport Local Food Group.

The group of volunteers, which each year organises the Bridport Food Festival, use their agm as a celebration of local food.

Chairman Jay Anderson said: “Bridport Local Food Group is comprised of a small number of dedicated volunteers who over the last decade or so have helped raise awareness and interest in local food and drink producers, retailers and catering outlets and generally encouraged people to buy locally sourced or produced food and drink.

“This has been achieved through the activities held during Food Festival Week and more recently through the publication and distribution of the Food and Drink Guide.

“Our aim is to continue to encourage everyone to eat healthily, eat locally, support our wonderful food and drink producers and sales outlets and overall help boost the local economy.”

The 2016 Front of House awards were also announced.

Ms Anderson added: “The ‘Front of House Awards’ help to give recognition to those who work serving customers in all types of food and drink outlets.”

This year the prizes were presented by Arthur Watson.

For more than 50 years Arthur and his wife Jan, ran the Riverside Restaurant in West Bay and last year they both received the British Empire Medal for their services to hospitality.

He said: “A good front of house team is vital to a successful business. You can have the best kitchen, the best chef and be selling the best food and drink products but if your customers are not greeted properly and looked after efficiently they are unlikely to be your customers for long.”

Front of House Awards went to the following:

Public House: Jane McMasters, Ilchester Arms, Symondsbury; runner up Marie Painter, Loders Arms; team the Ropemakers.

Café: Grace Butt, West Bay Tea Rooms, runner up Emily Humble-Smith, Citrus Grove Cafe.

Restaurant: Sarah Puddy, The Bull Hotel, runner up David Crooks, The Station Kitchen, West Bay, team The Bull Hotel.

Take Away: Natalie Coatsworth, Longs Fish & Chips, runner up Rachel Kingston, Rachel’s Kiosk, West Bay, team Longs Fish and Chips.

Food & Drink Retail: Sue English, Fruits of the Earth, runner up Carl Sims, Washingpool Farm Shop, team Framptons Butchers.