Food writer Jay Rayner to host Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards 2017

Award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster Jay Rayner, has been announced as the host of this year's Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards as entry for applications opens.

Published 3rd Mar 2017
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Food and drink businesses from across the Highlands and islands are being called upon to take their chance to enter the thirteen categories available for this year's awards, before the 5th of May deadline.

With categories including: Restaurant of the Year, Innovation Award and Young Shining Star, there is plety of opportunity for recognition in all parts of the industry, including innovation, enterprise and industry pioneers.

Entries can be made online at

Jay Rayner said: "The Highlands and Islands are one of Scotland’s greatest larders, producing some of the best meat, seafood and vegetables, alongside a world-beating distilling tradition. I am therefore delighted and honoured to have been invited to help celebrate the very best of that by presenting the prestigious Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards."

The Awards reputation has grown greatly over the past 13 years, with over 300 people attending the ceremony last year. The industry now brings over 32,000 jobs to the Highlands and Islands and generates in excess of £1 billion per year, earning recognition as a world food destination.

The awards are delivered with support from  (HIE).

Elaine Jamieson, Head of Food and Drink at Highlands & Islands Enterprise, who helped support the awards, said: “We are delighted to support the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards again this year.

"It’s an evening where extraordinarily skilled, passionate and enthusiastic people from across the region come together to celebrate the world- class contribution the Highlands and Islands make to Scotland’s food and drink sector.

“There has been a notable rise in smaller start-up businesses such as microbreweries, boutique distilleries and high quality niche producers, who take inspiration from the past to bring new products to market. Recognising that product and process development is critical for business success and economic growth, so we are proud to again be sponsors of the Innovation Award.

“The quality of shortlisted products, people and businesses is exceptional and categories are highly competitive so here’s to another bumper crop of entries in 2017!”

Here are 6 of the best castles with distilleries - plus upcoming projects including Midhope Outlander’s Lallybroch 

This year's awards will take place in the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness on the 20th October, with tickets for the ceremony and dinner now on sale.

• For further information on the categories and to apply, visit

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