Michelin Star chef '˜over the moon' at Scotsman Food and Drink Award

Hidden Gem winners Sun Dancer, presented by Scotsman editor Frank O'Donnell. Picture: TSPLHidden Gem winners Sun Dancer, presented by Scotsman editor Frank O'Donnell. Picture: TSPL
Hidden Gem winners Sun Dancer, presented by Scotsman editor Frank O'Donnell. Picture: TSPL
The cream of the crop of Scotland's food and drink industry descended on Edinburgh last night for the return of the Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.

The event, which featured more than a dozen specially chosen categories, saw the top prizes awarded to those businesses and individuals who have helped make a huge success of the country’s food and drink sector.

From cafes and farm shops through to city centre pubs and food bloggers, the accolades brought nationwide recognition for some of the industry’s most talented companies and individuals.

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Veteran broadcaster Stephen Jardine hosted the event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The Scotsman editor Frank O’Donnell said Scotland’s food and drink sector would have a huge part to play in helping Scotland’s economy overcome the challenges presented by leaving the EU.

Mr O’Donnell said: “We are thrilled to not only showcase all of the amazing winners and finalists, but also to recognise the hard work and passion shown by the men and women who, in my mind, don’t get enough praise for making this industry what it is.”

Edinburgh-based Paul Kitching, whose hugely popular 21212 restaurant is lauded in culinary circles and has received numerous awards including a Michelin Star in 2010, took home the best chef award, with judges praising him for his consistency, innovation and skill.

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The talented chef, who was in the US, sent a video to show how proud he was to receive such recognition. Mr Kitching said: “I just want to thank everyone for voting me chef of the year. I’m absolutely over the moon.”

Members of the public, who voted for the Hidden Gem prize, chose Sun Dancer as the winner, with the Nairn bar and restaurant receiving a majority from more than 3,000 votes cast.

There was also recognition for The Fishmarket in Edinburgh, which was only recently opened in Newhaven by the team behind Ondine.

The six-strong judging panel, which was led by Mr Jardine, included Calum Richardson, who was crowned this year’s Food Pioneer at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards, Scotland’s national chef Gary Maclean and Lorna Young, the talented ambassador for Dumfries and Galloway Food and Drink.

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Six by Nico creator Nico Simeone and Heriot-Watt University distilling director Dawn Maskell completed the panel.

Full list of winners:

Best Craft Beer: Stewart Brewing

Best Bar and Kitchen: Scotch and Rye, Inverness

Use of Scottish Produce: Thule Ventus, Shetland

Best Scottish Spirit: Aelder Elixir

Best Newcomer: The Fishmarket, Edinburgh

Most Dedicated Food Blogger: Foodie Explorers

Best Street Food: Dockyard Social, Glasgow

Best Dining Experience: Eusebi Deli, Glasgow

Best Eco Friendly: Hickory Catering Company, Edinburgh

Best Chef: Paul Kitching, Edinburgh

Best Cafe: Eusebi Deli, Glasgow

Best Local Pub: The Steam Packet Inn, Dumfries and Galloway

Hidden Gem: Sun Dancer, Nairn