The winners of the Taste Local Awards 2019, which celebrate the use of local food by food and drink businesses in Skye & Lochalsh, were unveiled at a lunchtime awards ceremony on the 27th February held at the Sligachan Hotel on the Isle of Skye.
21 local businesses had been shortlisted for the awards across ten categories after more than 270 nominations were originally received. The shortlisted businesses came together at the awards ceremony to find out the winners and to celebrate the importance of local food and produce for the region.
The award winners included a mix of businesses using local produce in different ways, from selling local produce to putting it at the heart of their menu offerings. The winners in full are:
Best Restaurant: Edinbane Lodge
Best Restaurant with Rooms: Coruisk House
Best Café or Coffee Shop: Beth’s Deli & Cafe
Best Community Café: An Crubh
Best Pop up, Food Event or Takeaway: Glendale Highland Market
Best Hotel: Cuillin Hills Hotel
Best B&B or Guesthouse: Hillstone Lodge
Best Retailer: Buth Bheag
Best Pub: The Old Inn
Best Newcomer: Edinbane Lodge
The judging panel responsible for picking the winners comprised six local producer judges including Anthony Hovey of Skye Vegetables, Glenys MacLean of Isle of Skye Free Range, Roger Whiddon of Isle of Skye Fresh Produce, Rachael Jackson of Orbost Farm, Alistair Wilson of Isle of Skye Distillers and Nanette Muir of Isle of Skye Sea Salt.
The Taste Local Awards are run by the Skye & Lochalsh Food Link CIC in partnership with Skye Connect and celebrate the use of local food. They also promote awareness of the Food Link van service run by Skye & Lochalsh Food Link CIC, which connects suppliers and producers with local businesses who want to use and sell local food.
The event was supported by a number of local companies including Williamsons; Brakes; Dunvegan Taxis, Dunvegan Castle; Mowi; Bayfield Training; Coruisk House; Skye Connect; Glendale Highland Market; West Highland Free Press; MacGregors Industrial Supplies; CSMco; Smithson Hill; NFU Mutual; SRUC; Skye Free Range; Skye Food & Drink Festival; The Three Chimneys; Pelican; Cullin Brewery; Skye Vegetables; Strathprint; Boys Eat Scotland; Isle of Skye Distillery and Isle of Skye Sea Salt. It also received a grant from Connect Local’s regional food fund.
Judge Rachael Jackson of Orbost Farm said:
“Picking the winners from our shortlist was no easy task and everyone who made the final should feel very proud. The quality of businesses that support local produce in the area is very high and the award winners are particularly exceptional”
Ceri Ritchie, Connect Local project manager, said:
“Connect Local, Scotland’s local food and drink advisory service, was proud to support the Taste Local Awards via the Regional Food Fund. The awards are a perfect example of people and businesses coming together to celebrate and promote excellence across the island, from cafés and restaurants to bed & breakfasts and hotels. Our congratulations to all the winners and finalists, who all play a key role in Scotland’s ambition become a global food tourism destination in line with the recently launched action plan.”
The winners were presented with ‘A Taste of Local Food’ plaque they can mount on the outside wall of their premises for two years as well as certificates to display in their businesses.
Local food veteran Shirley Spears, owner of The Three Chimneys restaurant, was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for the establishments work in promoting local food at the Taste Local Awards ceremony.