Category Winners 2011

The 2011 Awards were presented at a glittering ceremony at the Doubletree by Dunblane Hilton Hotel on Thursday 26th May 2011.

St James Smokehouse, producer of some of the world's finest smoked salmon, was crowned Business of the Year and International Business of the Year. The Annan-based producer was described by the judges as an excellent example of a small company taking its product to the world with fantastic growth ambitions for the next two years.

The second big winner of the night was Dornoch-based Saladworx for its Highland grown salad, herbs and edible flowers, which won Product of the Year and Product Innovation of the Year.

Huntly Herbs won the Soup, Preserves & Accompaniments category for the second year running for its Hot Lemon Relish, which is a distinctive relish combining spicy, sweet and sour flavours.

And again for the second year, the Fish & Seafood category was awarded to Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK Ltd, Shetland's largest salmon company, for its gourmet WildWaters range.

Borders Biscuits came first in the Bakery and Cereal category for its Gourmet Goodness range which was launched in March 2011 using imaginative ingredients from around the world.

First place in the Meat category was Taste of Bute for its Sleeping Warrior Hot Smoked Sausage, a Merguez-style slicing sausage using a trio of meats from beef, lamb and pork.

Winner of the Confectionery and Snacking award was Mackie's of Taypack for its Scotch Bonnet Chilli Pepper Potato Crisps - a new addition to its range in summer 2010.

Spencerfield Spirit Co Ltd won the Drink - Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic award for its Edinburgh Gin which is made traditionally, a throw-back to when Edinburgh was a hub for distilling and rectifying gin.

Food ingredients specialist Macphie of Glenbervie won the Food Service award for its Red Velvet Cake Mix and Vanilla Rainbow Frosting, a convenient and easy-to-use cake mix.

Two companies scored a double whammy of awards. Bridge of Allan-based Graham's the Family Dairy came first in the Dairy product category and also scooped the winning award for the Marketing Initiative of the Year.

Meanwhile, the coveted Young Chef of the Year title went to Ross Marshall of The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa. The world-famous hotel also scooped the top award for Success through Working in Partnerships for its work in helping suppliers promote their products.

And recognising his outstanding contribution to the Scottish food and drink industry and the Excellence Awards, David Dunsmuir from the Royal Highland Agricultural Societywas presented with an award, just before he starts his retirement.

Having joined the RHASS in 1997, David has been a well-kent face in the food and drink industry for many years. He has been heavily involved in the Excellence Awards since their inception and has played an instrumental role in developing them into the success they are today.

Angus Soft Fruits, based in Arbroath, won the Environmental Sustainability award for its ongoing strategy to explore carbon neutral/low carbon products.

The Healthy Eating award was presented to supernature for its Cold Rapseed Oil which helps decrease the average intake of total fat and saturated fatty acids into the body.

Stirling-based drinks producer VC2 Brands scooped the award for Investing in Skills Development for its outstanding work in developing staff and creating an open, honest working environment.

The Food and Drink Tourism award was presented to Iain Burnett, The Highland Chocolatier who has significantly expanded his shop to put Grandtully on the map.

Speaking at his first major engagement since being reappointed as Cabinet Secretary Rural Affairs and Environment, Richard Lochhead congratulated the booming food and drink sector in Scotland and underlined its ongoing importance to Scotland's economic recovery.

The Cabinet Secretary also announced a £2.64 million Scottish Funding Council package to establish a Scotland-wide food and drink innovation network with 17 Scottish universities. Part of the Scotland Food & Drink industry strategy, the delivery of the innovation network is the culmination of three years of work and collaboration.

Mr Lochhead said: "Once again, the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards have showcased an impressive variety of the very best Scotland has to offer. It's great to see returning names maintaining high standards, as well as some new entries who have successfully shaped innovation into excellence.

"Innovation is a fundamental part of any successful industry. The £2.64 million package will bring together the very best talent and research from academia and business, helping to strengthen and expand every aspect of this sector crucial to our economic recovery."

Ray Jones, chair of Scotland Food & Drink, said: "It's always an easy task to extol the virtues of our superb food and drink industry and tonight's winners make that job even easier.

"I'm delighted to see so many small Scottish companies walking away as winners, as we need to recognise the new kids on the block so Scotland can find its home among the top three producers of quality food and drink in the world."

A partnership with the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards and the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards ensured companies the length and breadth of the country were offered the chance to enter.

The menu for the event was specially created by Nick Nairn and included chicken from Gartmorn Farm in Alloa, Solway Firth wild bass and rump of new season border lamb from Campbells Prime Meats. Sponsors for the event included Clydesdale Bank, Sodexo, Johnston Carmichael, Food & Health Alliance, Speyside Glenlivet, RHASS, SFDSA, SAOS, Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, Zero Waste Scotland, VisitScotland, Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro Hotel, Diageo, Tesco, No 1 Currency, D8 and The Grocer.

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