Our popular Food and Drink Awards, which will see 47 finalists from across Scotland – as nominated by you – vie for the top prize across 13 categories at a special event in Edinburgh, will once again look to celebrate all that’s great about this country’s culinary scene.
With the judging panel having chosen the finalists for each field, it’s now down to you to help us pick our winner in the Hidden Gem category by choosing from our final shortlist of 12 entrants.
This year, those nominated – and singled out by our judges for the final running – include everything from capital restaurants and country house dining rooms to island eateries and rural favourites.
The North Harbour on the Isle of Scalpay caught the judge’s attention for its community feel and creative seafood dishes, while laid-back contemporary eatery Brodies has been wowing the residents of Moffat.
Countryside restaurant The Caddy Mann was another entry from the Borders that caught the attention of the panel, while Aurora was one of the highlights from Edinburgh.
Last year, winners Loch Arthur Creamery and Farm shop impressed many of our readers, not only with their outstanding produce, but also on account of their incredible work with men and women with learning disabilities.
Their farm shop, which opened in 2012, includes a traditional butchery selling Loch Arthur meat, carefully sourced organic produce, including their own grown seasonal vegetables where available, and an artisan bakery producing fresh loaves, cakes and treats. Particular praise went to manager Barry Graham for his work in creating a
“wonderful ethos focused on community, sustainability and creating a vibrant and supportive environment for people to work in”.
To vote for your favourite this year, and to see the full shortlist, head to http://www.scotsmanfoodanddrinkawards.co.uk/hidden-gem and pick your winner.
The awards ceremony will take place on 4 September, at the EICC and, in a departure from the usual sit-down meal, will have a Scottish street food theme, giving finalists, guests and sponsors the opportunity to better connect on the night.
Derek Mair, head of food & drink, Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP, who’ll be sponsoring the best newcomer award said: “Due to our long-standing involvement in the Scottish food & drink industry we want to support innovative newcomers as we see their involvement as being key to its continued growth and success, and indeed their presence adds to the vibrancy and quality the industry is known for across the globe.”
As part of the celebrations, The Scotsman will also be hosting our hugely successful food and drink conference on the day of our awards at the EICC, with chair Stephen Jardine, Scotland Food and Drink’s James Withers and a host of excellent speakers looking at how the thriving sector can face the challenges provided by Brexit.
The conference will be opened by Scotsman Editor Frank O’Donnell who said: “The Scotsman is proud to be able to highlight the success that is being made of Scotland’s vibrant food and drink scene. We believe that the industry is key to helping Scotland’s reputation grow not just in the UK and Europe but around the world.”
Julie Hesketh-Laird, CEO, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation added: “I am delighted to join other leading food and drink sectors at the Scotsman Food and Drink conference to look to the future, share our views and learn from other successful and important producers.”