Local businesses among Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards finalists
TWO local food and drink businesses have been named among the finalists in this year's Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards.
Stacks Bistro in John O'Groats and Dunnet Bay Distillers both feature in the short list for the event which seeks to showcase the businesses that are helping put the north on the food and drink map.
Dunnet Bay Distillers' Holy Grass Vodka: Cold Brew Coffee Edition is competing in the new product category, while Stacks is up against some of the region's best in the eatery award.
The awards recognise key businesses across the food and drink industry in a range of categories including the new business award, sustainability award and, new for 2019, primary agricultural producer of the year.
The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards are delivered with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Elaine Jamieson, head of food and drink at HIE, said: “We are delighted to see a significant increase in the number of first-time entries this year. It’s very encouraging to see new businesses coming forwards, alongside new products and initiatives from businesses who’ve entered before.
"Best eatery and restaurant of the year both had a very high level of entrants and presented the judges with a particularly difficult challenge to select two short lists to go forwards for mystery diner judging. This is real testimony to the hospitality sector in the region, and to producers who ensure high-quality local produce is available to our cafés, tearooms and restaurants.”
These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate our food and drink products, food service and fantastic people.
She added: “This year, for the first time, we have an award recognising the contribution of primary agriculture producers. This new and hotly contested category means that the awards show appreciation for the whole supply chain right through from field to fork.
"These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate our food and drink products, food service and the fantastic people who work in one of our region’s most important sectors. I wish every one of the entries the best of luck and look forward to seeing many businesses at the awards ceremony on November 15.”
The winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, hosted by STV presenter Jennifer Reoch.
Tickets are available to buy from the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards website.