A family-run Caribbean restaurant that is the only one of its kind in a Buckinghamshire town has won a prestigious Good Food Award for 'excellence'.

S&S Kitchen, an authentic Caribbean restaurant in Kingsbury, Aylesbury, which was founded by Stevi and Steven Beckford seven years ago from their kitchen, has been recognised for its 'culinary excellence' at the Good Food Awards 2024. 

Steven, 34, grew up in Jamaica before moving to Aylesbury 14 years ago and used his passion for cooking to convince his wife to pursue the joint venture of a Caribbean food truck enterprise, which was expanded into a restaurant in Stevi's Buckinghamshire hometown in 2021. 

The couple's then-fledgling food truck and gazebo venture scooped the title of Best Takeaway in the South East at the British Takeaway Awards in 2020, and this week saw fresh acclaim for S&S Kitchen's more permanent base in Kingsbury, which was named in the customer-voted Good Food Guide 2024. 

Bucks Free Press:

Stevi, 29, described the news as "a bit of shock" as the pair had been more "dedicated" in campaigning for their Best Takeaway win but said it was "definitely validating". 

She added: "I think this one was more about the customer reviews. We put a lot into our work and getting this recognition keeps you on your toes and makes it all worth it."

READ MORE: 'A perfect fit': Wine shop confirms plans for new branch in Bucks town

S&S Kitchen is the only Caribbean restaurant in Aylesbury and Stevi and Steven are planning to further upscale the homegrown operation by bringing their food truck to Milton Keynes, with the longer-term goal of opening a second base in the city. 

The pair remain at the helm of the business, with Steven working in the kitchen alongside two other chefs and Stevi leading the four-person front-of-house team, and they were bolstered by this week's unexpected news, which Stevi said indicates the restaurant's capacity to create a loyal customer base through reliably good food and service.

Bucks Free Press:

"We have quite a few regulars. It's usually about half and half, and a few people come regularly from places that are further away like Milton Keynes and High Wycombe.

"Our customers are always saying that we should go for more awards. It'll be nice to have another frame to hang on the wall, and it's just positive news, especially close to the Christmas period."

The Good Food Awards were founded in 2002 and annually recognise establishments around the UK that are "striving for culinary excellence within their field". 

Customer feedback, reader votes and online reviews are used by the judges to ensure the winners accurately reflect the opinions of actual diners, and premises have to meet several eligibility criteria to be considered, including an assessment of their Food Hygiene Rating.

The awards are free to enter and are evaluated based on merit, resulting in an “incredibly tough” competition, this year exacerbated by an “unprecedented” number of entries and votes.