The judging panel for the Scotsman Food and Drink Awards 2018 has been announced, with returning host Stephen Jardine chairing a group including Scotland’s National Chef, this year’s Food Pioneer and some of the industry’s top talent.

Veteran broadcaster Stephen will be joined by Calum Richardson, who was crowned this year’s Food Pioneer at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards, Gary Maclean, Scotland’s National Chef, and last year’s Chef of the Year, Nico Simeone, brains behind the ­successful Six By Nico restaurants.

Joining them will be Lorna Young, the talented ambassador behind Dumfries and Galloway Food and Drink’s ambitious new target, and Dawn Maskell, the hugely knowledgeable director of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University.

Rounding off the judging team for the ceremony and dinner on 4 September at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre, will be the Scotsman’s own food and drink editor Sean Murphy.

Scotland’s National Chef, Gary Maclean said: “I’m super excited to be part of the team of judges for the Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.

“Scotland’s food and drink industry has had some very positive changes in the last few years and picking out the cream of the crop is not going to be easy.”
Nico Simeone, who was crowned Chef of the Year at last year’s event, is keen to see who will come out on top this year.

He said: “Right now, the Scottish food and drinks industry is more exciting and diverse than ever.

“Scotland is home to some of the most innovative producers and ­restaurants and the Scotsman Food and Drink Awards give us all a chance to celebrate a mix of ­established and new businesses in our industry.

“It’s a pleasure to be judging and I look forward to a brilliant night of celebrations in September.”

Our Food Pioneer, Calum Richardson, who impressed judges at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards with his commitment to sustainability, and improving the industry, added: “As winner of the Food Pioneer Award 2018 at The Scotland Food and Drink Awards this year, I am delighted to be invited to the judges panel.

“I am excited about being involved in this year’s judging process, which I am sure will be both challenging and highly enjoyable.

“There is much pride to be taken in what Scotland brings to the table, and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our finalists, who are all winners in their own right.”

Lorna Young, who will use her vast experience working with Dumfries and Galloway’s top producers to help in the judging process, said: “It’s an honour to be asked to take part in the judging panel.

“Last year’s awards were a testament to the strength of our industry and the passion that resides within it, and The Scotsman is to be congratulated for championing Scottish food and drink through such a well designed and ambitious awards programme.

“I’m looking forward to reading the nominations and finding out more about examples of excellence the length and breadth of the country.”

Returning this year following a ­successful inaugural event, the awards are designed  to celebrate excellence and innovation in 13 ­categories across a broad range of subjects, recognising businesses and individuals who have, in the eyes of our readers, helped to make a huge success of the sector.

This will be your chance, as Scotsman readers, to shout about, and reward those people who you feel deserve to be recognised for their hard work and dedication.

You can nominate your choice here: www.scotsmanfoodanddrinkawards.co.uk

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-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 six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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