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Awards dinner promises taste of Highland hospitality

21 September 2012

An awards ceremony celebrating food and drink producers, products and suppliers from the Highland and Islands promises to give guests an exciting taste of Highland hospitality next month.

The eighth annual Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards will take place on October 19th at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness, offering an exciting opportunity to applaud the achievements of the industry in the area.

The event will be compered by A Question of Taste host and news presenter Kirsty Wark (who also reached the final in Celebrity Masterchef) with music from the acclaimed acoustic musicians of The Whisky River Boat Band. A mouth-watering menu will include food from top local producers such as Keltic Seafare, Lossie Seafoods and Reids of Caithness and the event has all the ingredients for an exceptional evening's entertainment.

The dinner will be opened by Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP and will see gongs presented to the winners of the 13 award categories, which are designed to recognise the cream of the crop for food and drink in the Highlands and Islands.

The shortlists have already been announced for the individual awards rewarding outstanding achievement in production, preparation, business and marketing across the food and drink industry, from brewing to baking and dairy to deli - meaning that the build up to this exciting event has well and truly begun. As a result those wishing to attend will need to book early in order to avoid disappointment.

Businesses are expected to travel from across the region - from the Cairngorms to Caithness and Stromness to Skye - to celebrate another exciting year of food and drink in the Highlands and Islands.

Quintin Stevens of the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Forum said: "The Highlands and Islands are well known for producing some amazing, world renowned products, and these awards recognise the ongoing efforts of the industry to ensure that this continues to be the case.

"The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards ceremony and dinner presents a unique opportunity for those with an interest in the industry to come together to celebrate the excellent quality of food and drink on offer here in the Highlands and Islands, as well as promising to be a great night out for all."

Iain Sutherland, senior development manager for food and drink at HIE commented: "We are proud to continue our support of the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards. They represent a superb opportunity to shine a spotlight on our food and drink industry's finest people, products and businesses.

"Some of these shortlisted products will have been enjoyed by the athletes in the Scottish showcase at the Olympic village but now it is their turn to compete. Congratulations to each of the finalists and we wish them the very best on the night."

Tickets for the event, to include drinks reception, four-course dinner and entertainment cost £70 per person and can be booked at

Awards partners are Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Forum. Sponsors of this year's Awards include:

  • Swansons Fruit Company
  • J&D Cowper
  • JBT Transport & parcelinQ
  • Polaris Learning Ltd
  • The Storehouse & The Dores Inn
  • Tio Ltd
  • Speyside Specialities
  • Murray Retail
  • Scotland Food & Drink
  • The Full Range Purchasing Limited
  • North Highlands Initiative.
  • The media sponsor is Scottish Provincial Press.

The full list of Award categories are:

  • Best Drink Award
  • Best Marketing Initiative
  • Development of Export Markets Award
  • Environment Award
  • Healthier Food & Drink Award
  • Independent Food & Drink Retailer of the Year Award
  • New Business Award
  • New Product Award
  • Restaurant of the Year Award
  • Best Other Eatery Award
  • Young Shining Star Award
  • Ambassador of the Year
  • Excellence Award (judges award)

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