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Get a taste for food spotlight as Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards set to return


By Federica Stefani


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Douglas & Jeni Hardie of Bad Girl Bakery (Muir of Ord). Pictures by: Chris Watt.
Douglas & Jeni Hardie of Bad Girl Bakery (Muir of Ord). Pictures by: Chris Watt.

A MAJOR Highland food and drink industry event will be back this year after two years away.

The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards is set to return and organiser are calling for entries from businesses across the Highlands and Islands, and Moray.

The 14 categories will be open for nominations and entries from April 21. Entries can be made online at before the closing date of May 31. Shortlisting will take place during the summer and the evening awards ceremony will take place on October 28.

Two new categories have been added this year that consider a wider cross-section of the industry: Best Food and Drink Tourism Experience and Supply Chain Business.

Marion Armitage, a member of the award’s steering group and an award’s ambassador, said: “It is wonderful to have the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards back this year after a two-year hiatus and it’s great to see the food and drink industry in this area is just as exciting as ever.

“The contribution to the industry of the wider cross-section in tourism and the supply chain is vital and I’m delighted we are honouring these categories in the 2022 awards. It’s with huge importance that we all work together to strengthen bonds and make the food and drink industry in the Highlands and Islands the best it can be and I’m looking forward to celebrating that”.

Glen Spean Brewing Co Spean Bridge Lucy Hicks James Leggett and Ian Peter MacDonald Photo - Chris WattWeb - www.chriswatt.comMobile - 07887554193Instagram - @chriswattphotography
Glen Spean Brewing Co Spean Bridge Lucy Hicks James Leggett and Ian Peter MacDonald Photo - Chris WattWeb - www.chriswatt.comMobile - 07887554193Instagram - @chriswattphotography

A successful Food and Drink Tourism Experience will demonstrate excellence in customer engagement, attracting visitors from both the Highlands and Islands and further afield, developing our reputation as a great place to experience local food and drink.

The awards are supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Elaine Jamieson, head of blue economy and food and drink at HIE, said: “We are delighted to support the return of the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards. The past few years have seen disruptions beyond our imaginations and consequently award events have been paused.

“The 2022 Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards will celebrate businesses’ and individuals’ achievements and will be an evening for those working in and supporting the sector to gather together and reflect on the challenges and changes we have experienced and to share ideas and aspirations for the future.”

Previous winners at the awards have spoken of the benefits they have experienced because of participating.

Previous award winners Jacqui Williamson of Corner on the Square (Beauly). Pictures by: Chris Watt.
Previous award winners Jacqui Williamson of Corner on the Square (Beauly). Pictures by: Chris Watt.

Anna Younie, marketing and events manager of Orkney Distillery, said: “Winning the new product award for our Beyla – Honey and Raspberry Old Tom Gin really helped its promotion and growth as a new product.

“We are always extremely grateful when our products win an award and particularly one such as this, that showcases and acknowledges quality produce from across the different regions of Scotland.

“We are incredibly proud to have won one of the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards – it has encouraged us to continue to enter Beyla alongside some of our other gins in a variety of competitions.”

Winners will be revealed at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness on Friday, October 28. Tickets will be available to buy later in the year.

Follow the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards on social media to keep up to date. For further details and to apply see www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com


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