Now in their 15th year, the Highlands & Islands Food and Drink Awards celebrate passion, quality and innovation throughout the region, as it highlights the finest businesses that are helping put the Highlands and Islands on the food and drink map.
The awards recognise key businesses across the food and drink industry in a range of categories including the New Business Award, Sustainability Award and new for 2019, Primary Agricultural Producer of the Year.
Producers, individuals and venues included in this year’s shortlist include: The Kale Yard at Boath, Café One One Two and Sligachan Hotel, Carron Restaurant, Fortrose Café and Stack Bistro for Best Eatery Award and Cullisse Partners, Highlands Eggs Ltd, Highlands Fold Ice Cream and The Really Garlicky Company for the brand new Primary Agricultural Producer of the Year category.
The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards are delivered with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Elaine Jamieson, Head of Food and Drink at HIE said: “We are delighted to see a significant increase in the number of first time entries this year. It’s very encouraging to see new businesses coming forwards, alongside new products and initiatives from businesses who’ve entered before.
"Best Eatery Award and Restaurant of the Year Award both had a very high level of entrants and presented the judges with a particularly difficult challenge to select two shortlists to go forwards for mystery diner judging.
"This is real testimony to the hospitality sector in the region, and to producers who ensure high quality local produce is available to our cafés, tearooms and restaurants.”
She continued by saying: “This year, for the first time, we have an award recognising the contribution of primary agriculture producers. This new, and hotly contested category, means that the awards show appreciation for the whole supply chain right through from field to fork.
"These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate our food and drink products, food service and the fantastic people who work in one of our region’s most important sectors.
"I wish every one of the entries the best of luck and look forward to seeing many businesses at the awards ceremony on 15th November.”
Winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony at Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness on 15 November hosted by STV presenter Jennifer Reoch.
Tickets are priced at £75 per person and are available to buy from the HIFAD website.