Orkney’s finest food and drink businesses were recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony held in Kirkwall.

Thirty-one local businesses were shortlisted for 12 different accolades in the 2018 Orkney Food and Drink Awards, covering everything from the best bar and takeaway meals, to the finest bakery, fish, drink and dairy products. Voters were also able to nominate their favourite café, tearoom, or local food retailer.

A record 8,250 public nominations were received for the biennial event  – organised by Orkney Food and Drink (OFD) and sponsored by NorthLink Ferries and Highland Park.

Unlike in previous years, the 2018 awards were judged solely on public votes, though a 13th award category, covering outstanding performance by a local food and drink business, was decided on the night by the directors of OFD.

Edgar Balfour, project manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, said: “Many congratulations to all the winning businesses who have worked exceptionally hard to deliver consistently outstanding produce and service to customers, not just here in Orkney, but much further afield too. Their passion and commitment have been recognised in the enormous public vote for this year’s awards, and they should be very proud indeed.”

He added: “We must also congratulate all the shortlisted businesses. Despite not winning tonight, the very fact they were in the running is a major achievement, so well done to them too.”

Seumas Campbell, Serco’s customer service director at NorthLink Ferries, commented: “We would like to congratulate all of the winners of this year’s Orkney Food and Drink Awards. The awards celebrate the very best of the islands’ talented food and drink industry and it’s great to see such a fantastic range of local businesses, including many of our own suppliers, building on the reputation that Orkney is a place of excellent produce.

“I would also like to congratulate the NorthLink Ferries team for winning Best Kids Meal, demonstrating our own commitment to providing great food and drink for all ages on board our passenger services.

“All finalists and winners should be extremely proud, and we look forward to continuing to work with Orkney Food and Drink and its network.”

Category winners each received a special Orkney Food and Drink Awards trophy.

Best A-la-Carte Meal
Foveran Restaurant

Best Bar Meal
St Ola Hotel

Best Café or Tearoom
Birsay Bay Tearoom

Best Takeaway Meal
Leigh’s

Best Local Food Retailer
The Brig Larder

Best Kids Meal
NorthLink Ferries

Best Meat-Based Product
Craigie Butchers Ltd – Highland Chicken

Best Fish-Based Product
Jolly’s of Orkney – Kirkjuvagr Gin & Orange Smoked Salmon

Best Dairy-Based Product
Orkney Cheese – Orkney Butter

Best Bakery-Based Product
Westray Bakehouse – Westray Rolls

Best Drink-Based Product
Orkney Gin Company – Johnsmas Gin

Best Peedie Product
Peedie Kirkwall Cakes – Peedie Kirkwall Cake

Outstanding Performance Award (Decided by directors of OFD)  Highland Park