Industry awards for Highlands and Islands food and drink

Hardeep Singh Kohli with Hebridean Sea Salt's Natalie Crayton and sponsors Asda Category Director Andrew Kenny.
Hardeep Singh Kohli with Hebridean Sea Salt's Natalie Crayton and sponsors Asda Category Director Andrew Kenny.

Three Highlands and Islands businesses – including one from Lewis – scooped three food ‘Oscars’ this week at the 2013 Scotland Food and Drink Awards on Thursday, May 30th.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) congratulates the ambitious companies who have been recognised in the Excellence Awards.

HIE’s head of Tourism Food and Drink, Chris Taylor, said: “This is fantastic success for the region and our congratulations go to all the winners and nominees.

“We hope this will help them all in developing their businesses and contribute to the outstanding success of the Scottish food and drink industry.”

He added: “HIE is delighted to be working with our industry partners, Scotland Food and Drink to help many companies in every part of the Highlands and Islands to increase sales and reach new markets.”

The ‘Soup, Preserves and Accompaniments’ award, sponsored by Asda, went to Isle of Lewis based Hebridean Sea Salt Ltd for its product which is hand harvested using Hebridean sea water.

The prize for the ‘Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic Drink’ category was won by The Orkney Brewery for its deluxe beer Dark Island Reserve.

And first place in the ‘Dairy’ category went to Taste of Arran for its Arran’s Cheese Shop Mustard Cheddar.

Commenting on the 2013 competition, Chief Executive of Scotland Food and Drink, James Withers, said: “Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards who have been recognised as the best products and businesses across a wide range of fields.

“Our finalists all illustrate the skill, innovation and premium quality of the country’s producers, which is driving our reputation as the Land of Food and Drink.

“Our food and drink industry is vital to the economy, generating significant employment at an unprecedented rate,” he continued.

“The work of Scotland Food and Drink is a partnership of industry bodies and government, supported by over 300 companies across Scotland.

“This is spearheading the industry’s growth and the awards highlight just some of the success stories doing the industry an country proud.”

The writer, broadcaster and all-round foodie, Hardeep Singh Kohli, hosted the event at the glamorous Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh.

Dubbed the Scottish food and drink ‘Oscars’, the ceremony was bigger than ever before with 400 guests attending the awards who were treated to a champagne reception and sumptuous dinner, showcasing the very best of Scotland’s larder.