The awards ceremony, hosted by Jay Rayner, award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster, was held in the Kingsmill Hotel, Inverness on Friday 20th.
Fifteen winners were awarded for their outstanding commitment to the industry, and excellence in quality and innovation, chosen from a Highland hotlist of 34 finalists. Winners included Isle of Harris Distillers for Best Drink, Frankie & Lola's for Best Eatery, The Tomatin Distillery Co for Environment Award and Scottish Salmon Company for Export Award.
Four businesses were recognised for helping to diversify the sector through bringing both innovation and a new generation of workers into the industry.
Those awarded were Isle of Harris Distillers - Isle of Harris Gin and Scottish Salmon Company - Native Hebridean Salmon for New Product, Salar Smokehouse for New Business, Scottish Salmon Company for Innovation and Donald Maclachlan, Salar Smokehouse for Young Shining Star.
The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards are delivered with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Elaine Jamieson, Head of Food & Drink at HIE, said: "Again the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards showcased and celebrated the best and most inspiring products, people and businesses in our region. All of the shortlisted entries had a unique product or a distinctive story to tell, or have shown exceptional commitment to the industry, to customers or the environment.
“To shine beyond the competition and be a category winner really is an award businesses should be extremely proud of, and an accolade which I hope can contribute to the future sustainable growth. Our sincere congratulations to them all.”
John Scott from Fearn Farm was awarded the highly coveted Ambassador of the Year title sponsored by Caledonian Sleeper, for his outstanding contribution to the industry. The award was open to public nominations, with the Awards Steering Group casting the final vote.
The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards launched in 2005 and have since represented some of the regions most celebrated food and drink businesses. The food and drink industry is integral to the Highlands and Islands, supporting around 32,000 full time jobs and generating in excess of £1 billion per year for the region.
The awards are delivered with the support of a number of Scottish businesses, including; Bidfood Scotland, Johnston Carmichael, Gordon & MacPhail and Booker Wholesale.
Full details of all the awards can be found at www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com.
photo caption: Jay Rayner with Su Cox from Scottish Salmon Company and Elaine Jamison from HIE.