The Scotsman’s Food and Drink awards are looking for nominations to recognise outstanding talent within the industry.

Our popular Food and Drink Awards, which will see Scotland’s top food and drink producers – as nominated by you – vie for the top prize across 13 categories, are set to return with a ­special event in Edinburgh this ­September.

To find them, we are asking you, our readers, to nominate those ­businesses and individuals you believe are leading the field when it comes to pushing this exciting ­sector forward.

For this year’s awards, we have added an exciting new category, the Outstanding Contribution award, which celebrates that ­special ­person who has gone above and beyond to keep the Scottish food and drink industry thriving throughout their career.

This person could be your favourite star chef, restaurateur, producer or entrepreneur, who has really has propelled Scotland’s larder to the next level.

David Livingstone, head of ­catering, Batleys at Bestway Wholesale, who are sponsoring this ­special award, said: “We’re proud to sponsor this new ­category, ­recognising an outstanding ­contribution to the Scottish food and drink industry.

“The provenance and quality of food and drink produced and served here in Scotland, gives ­tourists a reason to visit and locals an opportunity to enjoy great food, and this has an impact on the local ­economy and job market.

“Therefore, we hold in high regard any individual who goes above and beyond to grow the industry we love.”

Also being added to the line up this year will be the award for Best ­Marketing Campaign, which seeks to reward a marketing, PR or ­advertising campaign that has been innovative, original or ­highly ­effective.

The judges will be ­looking for one-off campaigns or sustained strategies that have impressed you.

Finally, no one is more key to the success of a top restaurant than its chef. The flair and skill of this ­person affects everyone else who works there, as well as the prized customer.

With our Best Chef award, we want to reward a chef who has shown inspiration and a desire to mould a restaurant in their form.

We are looking beyond mere cooking skills to a person who can add that extra ingredient to create a staggering menu and take a restaurant to the next level.

Last year, Paul Kitching, whose Edinburgh-based restaurant with rooms, 21212, is considered to be one of the best in the country, took home the top prize.

With six weeks until the deadline of 13 August, there is still ­plenty of time to nominate for both of these categories, or indeed, any of the 13, which also include Best Use of ­Scottish Produce, Best Scottish Spirit and Your Hidden Gem.

• To nominate your favourite, all you have to do is head over to our dedicated awards website: http://www.scotsmanfoodanddrinkawards.co.uk

About The Author

Sean Murphy

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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