Winners of Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards 2023 announced
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The annual Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards 2023 announced its winners at a ceremony at the Kingsmills Hotel in 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.
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.”
The full list of winners:
Winner: North Uist Distillery – Downpour Scottish Dry Gin, North Uist
BEST EATERY AWARD
Winner:No 88 Ltd, Shetland
Highly commended: The Pier, Lairg, Caithness and Ross-shire
BEST FOOD & DRINK TOURISM EXPERIENCE
Winner: Dunnet Bay Distillers Visitor Experience
Highly commended: Islay Sea Adventures and The Majestic Line (Scotland) Ltd
BEST FOOD – RETAIL
Winner: Island Bakery – Isle of Mull Cheese Biscuits Range
BEST STREET FOOD AWARD
Winner: Tagliotello, Inverness
INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Winner: Lochcarron Food Centre
BEST START UP
Winner: The Islay Spirits Company
PRIMARY PRODUCER AWARD
Winner: Bakkafrost Scotland
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Winner: Sun Dancer
SUPPLY CHAIN BUSINESS AWARD
Winner: Williamson Foodservice
Winner: Windswept Brewing Co
YOUNG AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR
Winners: Ciara Bow, Gledfield Distillery, Tain, Caithness and Ross-shire. Finlay MacDonald, Chocolates of Glenshiel, Lochaber.
Highly commended: Paige Dennis
Winner: Shetland Islands Council Local Food Procurement
AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR
Winner: Yvonne and Mike Crook, Good Highland Food
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.”