From cafes and farm shops to city centre pubs and food writers, the Scotsman Food & Drink Awards brings nationwide recognition to some of the industry’s most talented companies and individuals.
Scotsman editorial director Frank O’Donnell believes that spotlighting Scotland’s burgeoning food and drink sector will help grow the economy.
“We are thrilled to be able to recognise the hard work and passion shown by these men and women who, in my mind, don’t get enough praise for making this industry what it is,” he said.
Winners in the 13 categories will receive their prize at a ceremony and dinner at the EICC on Tuesday 4 September, and Scotsman readers are invited to pick their favourites ahead of the nomination deadline.
Pubs and bars often form a key focal point for the local community and for this year’s awards, the judges are seeking those locals that mean the most to you.
As part of our Best Local Pub category, the panel wants to hear about those watering holes that are the most rewarding of customer loyalty, offer the best value for money and are a chip off the old block when it comes to entertainment
Last year, Edinburgh favourite Kays Bar was chosen as a shining example of a local that is universally loved, with great service combined with an amazing selection of real ales and whiskies.
With its unassuming frontage and charming Victorian interior, Kays was nominated for its dedication to its cask ale offering, the atmosphere on match days (rugby that is, not football), diverse clientele and welcoming staff.
It was praised for its lack of music, making for better conversation, and homely bar grub – all in all, the embodiment of a local everybody knows and loves.
This year the judges are keen to also award bars that have taken a leap forward when it comes to food, moving away from the traditional offerings of nuts, pork scratchings and prawn cocktail crisps and creating a range of exciting or comforting dishes to go with their pints, cocktails and wines.
This new category, the Best Bar and Kitchen, will see judges consider the quality and variety of the dishes available on the menu, as well as the drinks to accompany them, and whether they are good value for money.
We’re looking for everything from your city centre local to a gastropub that’s drawing visitors from further afield – so long as they’ve wowed you with their pub grub we want to hear about it.
With less than a week’s time until the deadline for entries, organisers are calling on Scotsman readers to get their nominations in before it’s too late.
Scotsman Food and Drink editor and Awards judge Sean Murphy stated that this is a wonderful opportunity for people to praise those individuals and businesses that deserve it, not just in the two aforementioned categories but across all 13 – including the hotly contested Hidden Gem award.
He said: “It would be a terrible shame if anyone missed their chance to highlight those producers, chefs, venues or businesses that mean a lot to them and that’s why we are urging anyone interested to get nominating before the deadline next Monday.
"Our local food and drink heroes deserve to be given much-needed credit for their hard work and you can help by pointing them out to our judges.”
• To nominate for the above categories or any of the 13 please head along to www.scotsmanfoodanddrinkawards.co.uk before the deadline on Monday 23 July.