Seafood firms clean up at Highlands and Islands event
A CELEBRATION of Scottish seafood was on the menu at the recent Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards.
The top honour of the night went to fish farmer Gilpin Bradley of Wester Ross Salmon, who was named Ambassador of the Year in recognition of his contribution to the industry.
Suppliers Gigha Seafood and Alness-based salmon farmers Aquascot were double winners on the night, picking up the Excellence and New Product awards, and the Healthier Food and Drink and Entrepreneur Business awards respectively.
On the operator side, Isle of Mull seafood restaurant Ninth Wave was named Restaurant of the Year.
The region’s drinks industry also celebrated success, with Speyside Craft Brewery taking the Young Shining Star Award and the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival picking up the Best Marketing gong.
Other winners on the night included Best Drink Award winner Berry Good, for its range of fruit-infused spirits.
The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards is organised by the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Forum and supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
This year’s competition was sponsored by whisky firm Gordon & MacPhail.
Stephen Rankin, director of UK sales at Gordon & MacPhail and chair of the awards judging panel, said the Highlands and Islands “can be proud of its contribution to Scotland’s food and drink industry”.
“As title sponsor of these awards, we are delighted to be involved in a process which provides a catalyst for more producers and businesses to shout about their products and showcase the outstanding quality of the produce on offer from this part of the world,” he said. “The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards play an extremely important role in helping highlight to the wider industry that we are home to some of the most innovative businesses in the food and drink sector.”
Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment, said: “At a time when Scotland’s food and drink is craved at home and abroad, it is an excellent time to be rewarding companies for their high quality, top-class produce.”