26 winners are celebrating after being selected from over 275 entries and announced as recipients of the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2018, Scotland’s most prestigious food and drink awards.
The annual awards, hosted by chef and TV Personality Simon Rimmer, took place last night (7 June) with over 740 guests in attendance at the glittering ceremony at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre.
Special recognition was awarded for Product of the Year (Isle of Harris Gin), Business of the Year (Border Biscuits) and Outstanding Contribution (Jim Mclaren, Quality Meat Scotland), presented by Rural Affairs Secretary, Fergus Ewing.
12 product-focused categories were judged by a thorough process, which included the scrutiny of packaging, quality of product and taste. In the course of their assessment of the entries, the judges sampled 197 Scottish products ranging from cheese and chocolate, to ginger beer and gin.
The awards also highlighted business excellence, innovation and best practice across the Scottish food and drink industry. Categories included Environmental Sustainability (won by Farne Salmon and Trout Ltd), Young Talent (won by Kirsty George of Luss Smokehouse), Innovation (won by Peel Tech Ltd) and Scottish Sourcing (won by The Whitehouse Restaurant).
Recognised by both trade and consumers as an accolade of the highest quality, the awards are organised by Scotland Food & Drink and run in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), with Asda as headline sponsor.
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said:
“Congratulations to all winners and finalists who have been selected from a record number of entries by our panel of more than 45 judges. Scotland is home to some of the most innovative producers and these awards give us the chance to celebrate just a few of them. We have a fantastic mix of established world-class businesses and a new generation of entrepreneurs coming through.
“Scottish food and drink is now a national success story. Our unique partnership of industry bodies and Scottish Government has driven that. However, it is the talent inside individual businesses that make our industry tick and who are putting Scotland on the global culinary map.”
James Warnock, RHASS Chairman said;
“We at RHASS are very proud of our partnership with the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards. Like us, they recognise those businesses and individuals in Scotland who are leading the way with innovation, enterprise and quality, and they help the consumer go on the farm to fork journey with the producer. Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to seeing more of what Scotland has to offer at the Royal Highland Show later in June.”
The dinner menu showcased Scotland’s fantastic larder including produce from previous winners and finalists. The meal began with a starter of Luss Smokehouse Trout served with Summer Harvest Green Tarragon Mayonnaise, Scotch Leg of Aberdeenshire Lamb and Stornoway Black Pudding for main and finished with Pittormie Gooseberry, Elderflower Grahams Dairy Baked Cream.
For the full list of winners, visit http://www.foodanddrink.scot/events/sfd-excellence-awards.aspx