The Scotsman is excited to announce the return of our popular Food and Drink Awards, which will once again aim to highlight the cream of the crop of Scotland’s Food and Drink industry, and will take place in the capital this September.

The event will feature 13 specially chosen categories across a broad range of subjects which will seek to recognise those businesses and individuals who have, in the eyes of our readers, helped to make a huge success of the country’s food and drink sector.

These awards 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 within the industry.

Last year’s winners included the chef behind Six By Nico, Nico Simeone, social enterprise Loch Arthur Creamery and Farm Shop – who took home the Hidden Gem prize, dedicated bloggers Boys Eat Scotland and Glasgow-based street food aficionados The Big Feed.

The list of categories this year include Best Use of Scottish Produce, Best Scottish Spirit, Your Hidden Gem, Most Dedicated Food Blogger and Best Bar and Kitchen.

Each nominee, and your reason for choosing them will be read and judged by a panel comprising of Scotsman staff and representatives from Scotland’s Food & Drink industry, with the finalists being announced a few weeks before the event.

The ceremony will take place on Tuesday 4th September, at the EICC and in a departure from the usual sit-down meal, the Awards will have a Scottish Street food theme, giving finalists, guests and sponsors the opportunity to better connect on the night.

Broadcaster Stephen Jardine, who will be hosting on the night after his successful stint last year, said: “I’m delighted once again to be hosting The Scotsman’s Food and Drink Awards. The inaugural event was a brilliant success but with Brexit looming there has never been a more important time to champion our amazing food and drink talent and the outstanding produce they bring to the table.

“It’s a tough business with long hours and lots of competition so it’s right we should put on a pedestal and celebrate the very best Scotland has to offer and that’s exactly what these awards do.”

The Scotsman editor Frank O’Donnell stated that the return of the awards, and the accompanying conference, reaffirms The Scotsman’s continuing commitment to “highlighting the success that is being made of Scotland’s vibrant food and drink scene” by hard-working Scottish producers.

“Sector can deliver success beyond Brexit”

As part of this year’s event, 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 and discuss how it can deliver success after the UK leaves the EU.

You’ll hear from some of the industry’s most influential and inspiring figures such as Karen Betts, chief executive of the SWA – which will be sponsoring the event – Julie Hesketh-Laird, CEO of Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, and Jim McLaren, chair of Quality Meat Scotland, discussing how we can future-proof a sector which is worth £15 billion annually to Scotland.

Fiona McKenzie, European marketing manager of sponsors Murgitroyd said: “Murgitroyd is pleased to again support this flagship event for Scotland’s food and drink community – we look forward to playing our part by advising on the branding and other intellectual property issues which are key to the food and drink sector at this point in time.”

The SWA’s Karen Betts added: “I am delighted to be taking part in the Scotsman conference which shines a light on Scotland’s world-class food and drink industry with Scotch Whisky at its heart.

“Scotch Whisky is Scotland’s stand-out export success, accounting for 70% of all food and drink exports from Scotland. For many, our national drink is one of the first experiences they will have of Scotland. The industry is seeing more and more tourists visiting Scotland to not only discover the craft, heritage and quality of Scotch, but all that Scotland has to offer.”

To book your earlybird tickets please visit scotsmanconferences.com.

This year’s categories:

Best Craft Beer – Nominate HERE

Whether you brew your own beer or offer the most comprehensive selection of real ales, we want to celebrate those who fill Scotland’s pint glasses with the best drink in town.

Best Bar and Kitchen – Nominate HERE

Food in bars used to mean nuts, pork scratchings and prawn cocktail crisps. We have come far since then. Now it’s all about the burgers, pies and fish and chips and good comforting food to go with your pints, cocktails and wine. We want to hear about your local that does the best food and drinks combined whether it be something traditional or a dish or two that are a little bit more special.

Use of Scottish Produce – Nominate HERE

Great ingredients make a big difference in the kitchen. We are proud to support and celebrate the best sourcing, use and promotion of Scottish local produce. Nominate your favourite place that makes use of local Scottish ingredients to create great flavours in their kitchen’s.

Best Scottish Spirit – Nominate HERE

Some are perfect by themselves and others go well when you add a little something extra. No matter how you take yours, we want to celebrate this year’s surprises or the undefeated champion of spirits.

Your Hidden Gem – Nominate HERE

Secret spots, creative locations, stunning views or quirky decor; whether you like them from the mystery they’re surrounded by or the crazy lampshade hanging from the ceiling, we want to celebrate Scotland’s best surprises.

This event is the reader’s choice, this will be narrowed down to 10 companies and put back to public to choose the winner.

Best Newcomer – Nominate HERE

We want to judge the entries on the impression they have made in a relatively short space of time. The bottom line is we want impact, rather than an established record. This category applies to restaurants that have opened from January 2017 onwards.

Most Dedicated Food Blogger – Nominate HERE

Be it Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat we want to find that one blogger that makes your mouth water with their reviews of the best spots in town.

Best Street Food – Nominate HERE

Whether they are always on the road or have found a regular home in your city, they bring people together and offer satisfying quick bites to please people on the go.

Best Dining Experience – Nominate HERE

The excitement, the preparation, the lighting, the service, the music, the wine that matches every bite of your menu selection so perfectly…nothing beats this complete dining experience. Help us celebrate the venue that has it all.

Best Eco Friendly – Nominate HERE

This category celebrates the establishments that have the environment at the heart of their business. Maybe you know somewhere with a zero waste policy, somewhere that emphasises using seasonal and local produce, or runs the restaurant using clean energy?

We want to hear all about the restaurants leading the way in the environmental revolution.

Best Chef – Nominate HERE

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

Best Cafe/Deli – Nominate HERE

You might go to escape the office for a while, catch up with friends over a coffee or run in to grab the meat and cheese selection that everyone has been raving about.

It’s your greasy spoon or the newly opened delicatessen that has to be recognised.

Best Local Pub – Nominate HERE

Quiet or crowded? DJ or jukebox? We want to find out what your local pub is all about and how it beats the rest.

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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