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 Winners announced at Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards 2023

30/10/2023

THE annual Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards 2023 announced its winners on Friday 27 October at a prestigious ceremony at Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness. 

The awards celebrate the talent, quality and diversity across food, drink and hospitality in the Highlands and Islands. With a total of 15 award categories recognising a range of diverse businesses from best products to food and drink experiences and outstanding retailers, the winners represent the cream of the crop.    

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From a stand out restaurant in Nairn and a distillery on North Uist; to a food centre in Lochcarron and a cheesemaker on Mull, the list of winners demonstrates the quality of food across the region. Winners include organisations as large as Shetland Island Council and as small as Inverness street food operator, Tagliotello

Chair of the judging panel, Elaine Jamieson, Head of Food and Drink and Life Sciences at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), said:

“Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. These businesses truly represent the very best of Scotland’s larder from the Highlands and Islands. 

“This year we’ve had more entries than ever before, giving our judges a difficult job. The level of innovation, expertise and quality of our entries never ceases to amaze me and I feel incredibly grateful that the Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards gives us the opportunity to celebrate the amazing work that is being done within the sector.”

Husband and wife and owners of Good Highland Food, Yvonne and Mike Crook, took home the prize for Ambassador of the Year. Yvonne Crook, paying tribute to her husband said,

“Mike’s passion for developing great food and drink experiences has been made easier by the fantastic array of producers in the Highlands and Islands, whose passion shines through and makes it easy for us to deliver some of the best hospitality experiences in the world.

“During covid, it was a chance for us to reflect and to consider the future of Good Highland Food, which is wider than business growth. Our passion is the community we work with, the Highlands as a destination and a commitment to using local producers and creating the best local food and drink experiences we can as well as leaving a legacy for the future.”

Follow the Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards on Instagram to keep up to date with the latest news and announcements. Find them at @hifadawards

For further information on the finalists, visit www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com


Full list of winners:

BEST DRINK sponsored by SPEY

Winner: North Uist Distillery – Downpour Scottish Dry Gin, North Uist

BEST EATERY AWARD sponsored by HIGHLAND NEWS & MEDIA

Winner: No 88 Ltd, Shetland

Highly commended: The Pier, Lairg, Caithness and Ross-shire

BEST FOOD & DRINK TOURISM EXPERIENCE sponsored by CALEDONIAN SLEEPER

Winner: Dunnet Bay Distillers Visitor Experience, Thurso, Caithness and Ross-shire

Highly commended: Islay Sea Adventures and The Majestic Line (Scotland) Ltd, Argyll and Bute

BEST FOOD – RETAIL sponsored by SEAFOOD SCOTLAND

Winner: Island Bakery – Isle of Mull Cheese Biscuits Range, Argyll and Bute

BEST STREET FOOD AWARD sponsored by Food and Drink TechHUB

Winner: Tagliotello, Inverness

INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR AWARD sponsored by AQUASCOT

Winner: Lochcarron Food Centre, Lochaber

BEST START UP sponsored by BE PERSONNEL

Winner: The Islay Spirits Company, Islay, Argyll and Bute

PRIMARY PRODUCER AWARD sponsored by SALMON SCOTLAND

Winner: Bakkafrost Scotland – Native Hebridean

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR sponsored by WILLIAMSON FOODSERVICE

Winner: Sun Dancer, Nairn, Moray

SUPPLY CHAIN BUSINESS AWARD

Winner: Williamson Foodservice, Inverness

SUSTAINABILITY AWARD sponsored by SCOTLAND FOOD & DRINK

Winner: Windswept Brewing Co, Lossiemouth, Moray

YOUNG AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR sponsored by BROOK STREET

Winners: Ciara Bow, Gledfield Distillery, Tain, Caithness and Ross-shire, and Finlay MacDonald, Chocolates of Glenshiel, Lochaber

Highly commended: Paige Dennis, Island Larder, Shetland

JUDGES AWARD

Winner: Shetland Islands Council Local Food Procurement, Shetland

AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR sponsored by SAFFERY

Winner: Yvonne and Mike Crook, Good Highland Food, Tomatin, Inverness-shire

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