A CHEF is celebrating after his restaurant was named the best in a food festival.
More than 20 eateries took part in the Fylde Food Festival during January and February, and Oliver’s Pizza and Ice Cream Parlour in St Annes has come out top in a poll of customers.
Owner Oliver Sinclair was also presented with the prize for best starter, as diners said they enjoyed tucking into his Cajun Caesar salad.
Oliver, 35, said: “Winning came completely out of the blue; we really didn’t expect it but we’re really happy about it. We’re still grinning.”
Oliver and his partner, Angela Richards, put together a four-course meal for £10, and customers were invited to comment on the food, and vote on it.
The results were compared with the other 21 restaurants involved in the festival and the winner was revealed this week.
The New Year’s festival, organised by Fylde Council, is designed to boost leisure and tourism spending in an otherwise quiet time of year.
Oliver’s opened on St Alban’s Road more than two years ago on a shoestring budget after Oliver and Angela returned from a spell living in Spain.
Oliver said: “I’ve always worked in restaurants, and we had a small tapas place in Spain which allowed us to save some money and come back here.
“We found this building, which was an old carpet shop, and converted it into our restaurant using things bought from eBay.
“We started from nothing, and now we have a couple of staff, things are picking up and we’re doing really well.”
Oliver said customers had already been commenting on the restaurant’s festival win.
He added: “It’s amazing to have the Best Restaurant award, and it’s nice to have this recognition.”
Fylde Council’s tourism officer Viv Wood said: “We asked customers of restaurants across Fylde to rate their meal and overall experience – and Oliver’s was a worthy winner.
“All 22 establishments that took part did a splendid job in bringing diners to Fylde. But Oliver’s was the most impressive and enthusiastic. They really embraced the festival.
“Good food is now massively popular in Britain and restaurants are a major part of the leisure and tourism economy. It is a particularly vibrant section of the wider Fylde economy and that’s important for Fylde and for jobs.”