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Sizzling shortlist for 2010 Williamson Foodservice Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards

Thirty three companies, individuals and organisations across the Highlands and Islands are celebrating today as the shortlist for this year’s Williamson Foodservice Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards is announced (see editors notes for full list). A record number of entries were received for the 2010 Awards, which aim to recognise and encourage high standards and excellence within the food and drink industry.

The winning entries will be revealed at an Awards Dinner hosted by BBC Scotland’s Catriona Shearer on 29 October at Drumossie Hotel, Inverness. With an open invitation to all in the food and drink industry, the evening will offer an opportunity to hear at first hand from Nick Nairn, Scotland’s best known chef, and the menu will feature delicious produce from the Highlands and Islands.

The Awards, aimed at businesses and individuals in the food and drink industry of the Highlands and islands, are sponsored by Williamson Foodservice, organised by the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Forum, and supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Best use of local food and drink is one of the eight categories for this year, which also include awards recognising healthier food and drink, good environmental practice, innovation, businesses working in collaboration with each other, as well as new products and new businesses and the popular Taste of the Highlands & Islands Restaurant of the Year Award. (The shortlist for the Taste of the Highlands & Islands Restaurant of the Year Award was announced previously.) 

Gary Williamson, managing director of Williamson Foodservice and title sponsor of the event, said: “Our panel of judges selected from across the food and drink industry had quite a challenging task, particularly given the excellent standards shown by our entrants from throughout the Highlands and Islands for the 2010 awards. This year I’m particularly delighted to see so many new names appearing in the shortlist for the Awards – to have reached this stage is already evidence of the quality of their work.”

Quintin Stevens, co-chair of the Highland & Islands Food & Drink Forum, said: “Congratulations to all the companies and organisations short-listed for this year’s awards. With the awards now an established event in Scotland’s food and drink calendar, 2010 has attracted more entries than ever before and from many new businesses to the industry. The Forum is pleased to acknowledge the support of our partners who have chosen to sponsor the awards, and contribute to the campaign for excellence in the Food and Drink industry in the Highland and Islands.”

Iain Sutherland, Senior Development Manager for Food and Drink at Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: “HIE has been a major funder of the Awards for a number of years and the calibre of entries grow from year to year. To be shortlisted from a record number of entries is testament to the hard work of the businesses involved and every one should be congratulated. The businesses who win find the Awards to be an excellent selling tool and it is clear that this is an industry which is competing with the best in the world in terms of quality, choice and innovation.”

More information on the Awards is available at http://www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com .