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Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards finalists announced

Published: 24/08/2022

Businesses across the region have been named as finalists in the Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards 2022 as the event returns after a two year break.

Smoked Salmon on oat cakes

The Awards, now in their 17th year, are delivered by a steering group and is supported by the principal event sponsor, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

From the best products and food and drink experiences to outstanding retailers and businesses demonstrating sustainability, finalists in the ten award categories include those from across the food, drink and hospitality sectors and help showcase the region’s quality and diversity.

The Best Drink Award (sponsored by Speylife) was open to distilleries and breweries. Finalists include: Ullapool-based Highland Liquor Company’s Seven Crofts Gin and Seven Crofts Fisherman’s Strength Gin, Windswept Brewing from Lossiemouth’s Barrel Aged Beers and Cù Bòcan Single Malt from the Tomatin Distillery south of Inverness.

Food of the Year finalists include seaweed chips from SHORE in Wick; salted caramel milk chocolates from Islay Cocoa; spicy coppa cured ham from Bogrow Farm in Tain; and flaky smoked salmon from South Uist-based Salar Smokehouse.

Two new categories have been added this year, recognising the breadth of the industry across the region: Best Food & Drink Tourism Experience (sponsored by The Caledonian Sleeper) and Best Supply Chain Business (sponsored by MacRoberts).

Three businesses are named as finalists in the Best Food & Drink Tourism Experience category: The Kintyre Gin Experience from Beinn an Tuirc Distillers at the Torrisdale Castle Estate in Argyll, Downright Gabbler, which offers innovative experiential dining experiences in Beauly; and the Kirkjuvagar gin tours at The Orkney Distillery & Visitor Centre in Kirkwall.

The Best Supply Chain Business category recognises an area of the sector that is often considered the backbone of the industry, connecting producers with retailers and those in food service. The two finalists are: vegan cheese producers, Left Coast Culture, and Inverness-based Williamson Foodservice wholesalers.

Showcasing the best local produce, skilfully presented by an expert kitchen and front of house team, the Restaurant of the Year finalists include Station Road restaurant at The Lovat Loch Ness; The Dipping Lugger in Ullapool; seafood specialists Harbour Kitchen in Stornoway; and Etive Restaurant in Oban.

Chair of the Judging Panel and head of food and drink and life Sciences at HIE, Elaine Jamieson, said:

“We were hugely impressed by the calibre of the entries from across the region and selecting the finalists was a difficult task for our judging panel. These finalists demonstrate the quality, innovation and ambition within the food and drink industry in the Highlands and Islands. We can’t wait to recognise this success at the awards ceremony in October, which is a great opportunity for the industry to reconnect and celebrate the diversity of the food and drink sector and its supply chain in our region.”

Winners will be revealed at the prestigious reception, dinner and awards ceremony at Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness on Friday 28th October. Tickets are now available to buy, with a choice of individual places or tables of 10. These can be purchased now at www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com

Follow the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and announcements. Find them on @hifooddrink on Twitter and Facebook.

For further information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com

Full shortlist is available at https://www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com/shortlist

ENDS.