Thirty-eight businesses across the Highlands, islands and Cairngorms National Park area have been shortlisted for the area’s most prestigious food and drink awards.
Finalists ranged from new businesses to established producers; family-run restaurants to Michelin-starred establishments and demonstrated the strength and diversity of food and drink businesses across the region.
The awards, now in their 11th year include 13 categories ranging from the Young Shining Star and Restaurant of the Year to Export and Healthier Food & Drink.
The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards 2015 has seen a 39% surge in entries with a total of 100 entries received for this year’s awards.
The awards are delivered with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Crystal Mackay, development manager at HIE, said: “We would like to thank the companies and individuals who entered the awards and congratulate them on their submissions. We are very pleased to see such a high level and quality of entries received from across the region. Our fantastic natural larder is one of our key strengths and growing the food and drink sector is a priority for us. We wish all shortlisted companies and individuals the very best of luck in the forthcoming Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards during this Year of Food & Drink 2015.”
Judging for the awards took place last week at The Storehouse at Foveran with a panel of 13 judges examining the entries and tasting produce from across the Highlands and Islands and Cairngorms National Park.
With 2015 marked across Scotland as the Year of Food and Drink, this year’s awards look set to be higher profile than ever before. Gordon & MacPhail, one of the UK’s leading independent wine, spirit and whisky wholesalers, is headline sponsor.
Full details of all the award categories can be found at www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com.
The winners will be announced on Friday 23rd October at a glittering awards ceremony at the four-star Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness. Tickets cost £75 + VAT and include a welcome drink and sumptuous four-course dinner with a menu showcasing local food and drink. The host for the night is comedian and broadcaster, Fred MacAulay who is returning for a third year by popular demand.
Tickets can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 0131 466 7199. The event is expected to sell out so early booking is advised.