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Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards 2017 Is Launched

3rd March 2017

Food and drink businesses from across the Highlands and Islands are being called to enter the prestigious awards before the 5th May deadline.

Thirteen categories are available to enter, including: Restaurant of the Year, Innovation Award and Young Shining Star. The categories cover all parts of the industry, recognising innovation, enterprise and industry pioneers.

The awards are delivered with support from Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Elaine Jamieson, head of food and drink at HIE said: "We are delighted to support the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards again this year. It's an evening where extraordinarily skilled, passionate and enthusiastic people from across the region come together to celebrate the world-class contribution the Highlands and Islands make to Scotland’s food and drink sector.

“There has been a notable rise in smaller start-up businesses such as microbreweries, boutique distilleries and high quality niche producers, who take inspiration from the past to bring new products to market. Recognising that product and process development is critical for business success and economic growth, so we are proud to again be sponsors of the Innovation Award.

“The quality of shortlisted products, people and businesses is exceptional and categories are highly competitive so here’s to another bumper crop of entries in 2017."

Jay Rayner, award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster, is announced as host of the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards as entry applications are declared open.

Jay said: "The Highlands and Islands are one of Scotland’s greatest larders, producing some of the best meat, seafood and vegetables, alongside a world-beating distilling tradition. I am therefore delighted and honoured to have been invited to help celebrate the very best of that by presenting the prestigious Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards."

The Awards reputation has grown greatly over the past 13 years, with over 300 people attending the dinner last year. The industry now brings over 32,000 jobs to the Highlands and Islands and generates in excess of £1 billion per year, earning recognition as a world food destination.

Winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony hosted by Jay Rayner. The ceremony includes a fantastic Scottish dinner, taking place in the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness on 20th October. Tickets for the awards dinner are now on sale.

Entries can be made online at www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com

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