A record number of 820 guests were in attendance to watch as the 25 winners were singled out for recognition at a prestigious ceremony which has been dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the Scottish food and drink industry.
The annual event held at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre, which was hosted by chef and TV Personality Simon Rimmer, was organised by Scotland Food & Drink and run in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), with Asda as headline sponsor.
The category winners spanned the whole of the sector, and came from the length and breadth of the country, with those receiving awards including; Liam Pennycook of Strathearn Distillery for ‘Young Talent’, l’escargot restaurants owned by Chef Fred Berkmiller for ‘Scottish Sourcing’, Paterson Arran Ltd for ‘Environmental Sustainability’.
The award for the Food Pioneer of the year, sponsored by The Scotsman, went to Graham Suttle of Kained Holdings, who was chosen for his commitment to education and hard work in building a successful brand which showcases the very best produce Scotland has to offer on a daily basis.
Scotsman editor Frank O’Donnell, who presented Graham with his award, said: “We are delighted to recognise the hard work of people like Graham, who continue to build up the success of Scotland’s food and drink sector, highlighting its importance to not only the country’s economy but also the well-being of its people.
“We believe that the industry is key to helping Scotland’s reputation grow not just in the UK and Europe but around the world, and it is vital that we continue to cherish and support it in any way we can.”
Special recognition was also awarded for the Product of the Year – Whisky Nibs from Chocolate Tree – and the Business of the Year – Bruce Farms – while the Outstanding Contribution award was given to Alastair Dobson for his work with Taste of Arran.
James Withers, CEO Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Congratulations to all winners.
“With the new food and drink strategy, ‘Ambition 2030’ we are aiming to double the industry’s worth to the value of £30 billion by 2030, so it was fantastic to see new start-ups as well as established businesses come out on top.
“The industry is constantly growing, but there is always room for young pioneers, innovative products and enterprising businesses, and it’s this that will help us achieve Ambition 2030.
“Scotland is home to some of the most innovative producers and these awards give us the chance to celebrate this.
“Thanks to all those who entered this year, and I hope to see you back here next year.”