The YEP Oliver Awards are changing… and for the better. After marking our 10th year of celebrating the best the local dining scene has to offer – and in so doing shining a light on some of the best restaurants in the country – we want to make sure our awards are always one step ahead.

So, as we embark on a new decade of the awards, we have looked carefully at our categories and we’ve listened to the very people these awards were set up to salute – the restaurateurs – to make them even more relevant to the modern era.

In our 11th year, there are exciting new categories, which we hope will help businesses flourish by giving due attention to entrepreneurs and helping them make new industry connections.

Perhaps the biggest change this year is that we are pleased to announce the arrival of three industry experts, who will act as judges and will be working with us throughout the nomination, shortlisting and judging process. They are consultant chef Stephanie Moon, renowned food critic Amanda Wragg and beer writer, author and foodie Simon Jenkins. All three will be joining us to cast their eyes over those shortlisted for our awards.

We will also be keeping you more informed along the way and bringing you interviews with past winners.

When the awards were set up in 2008, it was seen as a chance to tell the world about the flourishing Leeds dining scene and 10 years on that is still what drives us. So, we hope you will join us in raising a glass to toast the success of one of the city’s most successful sectors in the 2019 YEP Oliver Awards.

This year we have tweaked some of the categories to make them more relevant and added some exciting new ones. New categories include award for Best Brewery, in which we want to give exposure to small breweries and microbreweries from the Leeds area, as they often work hand in hand with restaurants and local pubs and that’s something we want to recognise.

Another new category is our People’s Oliver, which depends on readers telling us about their best family dining experiences. We want to discover all those restaurants which do their best to make all members of the family feel included.

Finally, we have overhauled some of our longstanding categories, launching a new Rural/Hotel category and splitting the previous Cafe/Bar into two new, distinct awards.

As usual, we look forward to receiving your nominations.