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Voting underway in 2016 Orkney Food and Drink Awards

If you’ve enjoyed a great meal in Orkney, experienced outstanding service at a local hotel or restaurant, or been impressed by the marketing efforts of an islands producer, then the organisers of the 2016 Orkney Food and Drink Awards want to hear from you.

Published: February 18, 2016

Re-launched in 2014, the Orkney Food and Drink Awards recognise the very best of Orkney produce, while also helping highlight the huge range and quality of food and drink on offer in the county.

Now the biennial event is being expanded, with 15 awards covering everything from the best breakfasts, lunches and evening meals, to the finest bakery, drink and dairy products. Voters can also nominate businesses for their marketing initiatives and new products, with a special continued excellence award up for grabs too.

Around 80 local businesses are involved in this year’s awards, which are again beingsponsored by NorthLink Ferries.

“The 2014 awards proved to be a runaway success, attracting over 2,500 votes across all the competition categories,” said Edgar Balfour from event organisers, Orkney Food and Drink.

“We were really encouraged by the response to the awards from local people and visitors alike and, with a greater number of businesses taking part this year, we’re gearing up for even more votes this time around. Everyone who took part in the awards found it had a positive impact on their business and it certainly helped spread the word about our wonderful produce to a wider audience.”

Voting for the awards is now live on the Orkney Food and Drink website at, with a special feature encouraging visitors to get involved in the event also being printed in this year’s edition of tourist newspaper The Islander.

Peter Hutchinson, Customer Service Director at NorthLink Ferries, said: “As a company that sources quality on-board produce from across the Northern Isles, we are very pleased to once again be sponsoring the Orkney Food and Drinks Awards.

“The awards are a great opportunity for a range of businesses to showcase their commitment to local produce. I would urge anyone who is aware of an outstanding restaurant, hotel or food retailer to show their support and vote in this year’s awards.”

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The 2014 winners received their awards at a special gala event in Kirkwall, with an even bigger ceremony – complete with plenty of Orkney food and drink to sample – being planned for this autumn.

Further details on the event - and information on how to obtain tickets - will be posted on the Orkney Food and Drink website in the coming months.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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