Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards Finalists Announced

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Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards Finalists Announced

41 food and drink businesses from across the Highlands, Islands and Cairngorms National Park area are celebrating after being shortlisted for the region’s most prestigious food and drink awards.

Finalists ranged from artisan South Uist smokery, Salar Smokehouse to the Scottish Salmon Company, which has offices in Argyll and Lewis.  New businesses like Ballindalloch distillery are listed with established companies such as Orkney-based Stockan’s Oatcakes which has been operating for over 100 years.  Successful restaurants and eateries like the new Café Sia on Skye and the popular Harbour Lights in Lossiemouth were also included alongside food and drink retailers.

Businesses were recognised for their business success in categories like Best Marketing Initiative (sponsored by Bidvest Foodservice Scotland), Business Growth Award (sponsored by Johnston Carmichael) and Export Award (sponsored by XPO Logistics).  Other categories celebrated products and services like the New Product Award (sponsored by Scotland Food & Drink) and Restaurant of the Year (sponsored by MacGregor Industrial Supplies).

Young talent in the food and drink industry was recognised with four strong finalists in the Young Shining Star category (sponsored by Brook Street): Andrew Fraser from Wester Ross Fisheries Ltd; Caitlin Grainger from Corner on the Square; Gillian Ross from MacGochans; and Kirstin McGrath from Clubhouse Hotel.  The Ambassador of the Year Award (sponsored by Caledonian Sleeper) will be announced at the awards ceremony on 21st October.

Finalists for the new Innovation category (sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise), launched to tie in with Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, were named as Aurora Sustainability Ltd, Reids of Caithness, Salar Smokehouse and The Walled Garden Trading Company Ltd.

Judging took place at Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness with judges from across the industry.  Judges included representatives from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Scotland Food & Drink, caterers, chefs and current Ambassadors of the year, Jill and Callum Clark of Connage Highland Dairy.

The awards, now in their 12th year, are delivered with support from HIE. Elaine Jamieson, Head of Food and Drink at HIE said:

“Our food and drink sector is characterised by high quality produce and service, and a strong sense of pride in people and place.  It is great to see a strong field of entries in the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards and we look forward to an evening of showcasing, celebrating and meeting friends old and new on 21st October.”

The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards Dinner & Ceremony will take place at the four-star Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness on 21st October.  Back by popular demand, broadcaster and comedian Fred MacAulay will host the evening for the third year running.  Tickets cost £75 (+VAT).  Book here.


Best Drink Award
Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd - Rock Rose Gin
Highfern Ltd Angels' Nectar - Blended Malt Scotch Whisky - Rich Peat Edition
Speyside Distillers Co Ltd - SPEY from Speyside Distillery Cask 27
The Walled Garden Trading Company Ltd - Gordon Castle Raspberry Gin, Gordon Castle Gin
The Walled Garden Trading Company Ltd - Gordon Castle Scotland Apple and Pear Cider, Whisky Cask Cider, Ghillie’s Brew Scottish Ale
Tomatin Distillery - Tomatin Single Malt Core range (12/14/18 year old)

Best Eatery Award
Corner on the Square
Harbour Lights
Oban Chocolate Company
The Pier
The Puffer Bar & Restaurant
The Walled Garden Trading Company Ltd

Best Marketing Initiative Award
Applecross Smokehouse
Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd
FAO27 Ltd
The Puffer Bar & Restaurant

Environment Award
Aurora Sustainability Ltd
Isle of Eriska Hotel Restaurant
Loch Fyne Oysters
Wester Ross Fisheries Ltd

Export Award
Associated Seafoods Ltd
FAO27 Ltd
Speyside Distillers Co Ltd
The Scottish Salmon Company
Wester Ross Fisheries Ltd
Windswept Brewing Co

Food & Drink Business Growth Award
Coast and Glen – Fishbox
Salar Smokehouse
Scottish Salmon Company

Healthier Food and Drink Award
Salar Smokehouse

Independent Food & Drink Retailer of the Year Award
All The Goodness
Buth Bharraigh Ltd
Buth Bheag
Corner on the Square
Oban Whisky & Fine Wines
The Cheese House, Cromarty

Innovation Award
Aurora Sustainability Ltd
Reids of Caithness
Salar Smokehouse
The Walled Garden Trading Company Ltd

New Business Award
All The Goodness
Applecross Smokehouse
Ballindalloch Distillery
Cafe Sia Limited
Frankie & Lola's
High St Merchants Ltd

New Product Award
Applecross Smokehouse - Hot roasted sea trout with heather honey glaze, Cold peat smoked salmon, Hot roasted peat smoked salmon
Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd - Holy Grass Vodka
Isle of Ewe Smokehouse - Hot smoked hand dived Scottish King Scallops
Reids of Caithness Baked Treats - Oaties and Shortbread
Salar Smokehouse - Salar Flaky Smoked Salmon range
Stockan's Oatcakes Ltd - Orkney Beremeal Oatcakes
Windswept Brewing Co - Bear

Restaurant of the Year Award
Isle of Eriska Hotel Restaurant
Scalloway Hotel
The Cross at Kingussie
The Foveran Restaurant With Rooms
The Torridon
The Whitehouse Restaurant Lochaline

Young Shining Star Award
Andrew Fraser - Wester Ross Fisheries Ltd
CaitIin GraInger - Corner on the Square
Kirstin McGrath - Clubhouse Hotel
Gillian Ross - MacGochans

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