That’s no surprise as the country has so many excellent producers, restaurants and bars.
Here is a small selection of the notable winners this year, though this is not exhaustive. We’d need the entire paper for that.
FISH AND CHIPS
Back in April, Fry Magazine announced the winners of their 50 Best Fish and Chip Takeaway Awards 2021/22. The Scottish contingent was strong, with East Coast in Musselburgh, Dunkeld Fish Bar, Fochabers Fish Bar and Garioch Fish Bar taking some of the top slots in the 50 Best Takeaways section. There was only one Scottish contender in the Ten Best Fish and Chip Restaurant category, and that was Catch Fish and Chips in Glasgow. Pierinos in Edinburgh won Best Fish and Chip Shop in the South East at The Food Awards Scotland.
At the British Piemaker Awards, the Young Piemaker Award went to 16-year-old Paul Curran of The WeeCOOK Kitchen in Carnoustie. Other top awards include The World Pie Scotch Championship, with this year’s top prize going to Brownings the Bakers, based in Ayrshire.
We were very happy to see our favourites, Edinburgh’s Sabzi, taking home the Restaurant of the Year 2022 in Scotland honour at the Asian Food and Restaurant Awards in December. The Best Restaurant Scotland award at this year’s British Curry Awards went to Swadish in Glasgow.
At the 27th Scottish Bar and Pub Awards, winners included Glasgow’s Piper Whisky Bar, which won Benromach’s Whisky Bar of the Year. The new Commons Club bar at the Virgin Hotels Edinburgh took home Old Tom Gin Hotel Bar of the year. There were also trophies for The Malt Room in Inverness and GaGa in Glasgow, among others.
We think being a judge at the British Cheese Awards could be the best job in the world. At this year’s competition, back in October, the winner of Best Scottish Cheese was Morangie Brie from Tain-based Highland Fine Cheeses.
You can’t mention awards without giving the tyre man a mention. This year, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles maintained two, Edinburgh’s Condita, The Kitchen and Restaurant Martin Wishart kept their star, as did The Cellar and The Peat Inn in Fife; Cail Bruich, Glasgow and Loch Bay, Skye. New additions included Glasgow’s Unalome, and The Glenturret Lalique. Also, Celentano’s and Ka Pao in Glasgow, got themselves well deserved Bib Gourmands.
Although Number One at The Balmoral no longer has their star, they’ve been named on La Liste’s World’s Best Restaurant 2023 list of the top 1,000 restaurants in the world. It’s second in Scotland and top in Edinburgh. Their manager, Emma Lonie, has just won Hotel Restaurant Manager of the Year at the Hotel Cateys.
Scotland has cleared the board. Height of Arrows Gin from Holyrood Distillery won Best New Product of the Year at the Scottish Gin Awards. It also took home another four prizes, including Best Cask Gin for its Height of Arrows Heavy Barrel Aged Gin. Eden Mill and Caorunn also did well at that event.
At the Scottish Beer Awards, Brewery of the Year went to William Bros Brewing Co.
Other notable mentions include Luvians winning Scotland’s Best Wine Merchant in Harpers magazine’s 50 Best Indies, and Decanter called St Andrews Wine Company the country’s Best Local Wine Merchant.
The Scottish Whisky Awards named Isle of Raasay Distillery as the Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year.
At the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), a few of the many notable winners include Tomatin, who were awarded Whisky Producer of the Year. Also, Lindores Abbey were classed as Outstanding and also took home a double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
As far as rum goes, North Point Rum in Caithness has won an incredible 18 awards since starting up during lockdown.
It’s also worth mentioning Summerhouse Drinks. Their Pumpkin Soda won Best New Product at the North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards.
Blackthorn Sea Salt seems to be used by every chef in Scotland. They were crowned Winner for Scotland in the Great British Food Awards and Sustainability Pioneer of the Year at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards 2022, as well as a Platinum Award at The Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards.
The five-year-old Scottish Bread Championship takes place annually at the Royal Highland Show, and this year, the coveted Joint Supreme Champion prize went to Edinburgh’s Company Bakery for their Seeded Home Loaf and Wild Hearth Bakery for their Panettone Classico.
It’s been an especially good year for street food purveyors, Glasgow-based Kochchi and Edinburgh’s Junk. They battled against The Funnel Cake Co, Chicken Skoop and others, at the Scottish Street Food Awards held at The Pitt in Edinburgh. They both made it to the September finals that are the British Street Food Awards, where Junk was the overall winner and Kochchi won the Spice Award for their Sri Lankan hoppers. Since then, Junk have set up shop on 58 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh, and Kochchi are at the Bonnie & Wild food market at Edinburgh’s St James Quarter.
Jonathan Ferguson, junior sous chef at The Glenturret Lalique in Crieff, beat five other finalists to be awarded this honour.
As always, Scotland netted a constellation of stars for their products at these annual awards. Some products which received the highest three-star merit include BoTree Farm Kampot Black Pepper, and the botanical spirit Orkney Akvavit. There was also a triple mark for Heather Hills Farm’s Bulgarian Lime Honey, St James Smokehouse’s St James Scotch Reserve Pure Royal Filet and the excellent Salami with Fennel Seeds and Red Wine from Peelham Farm. For the full list, see below.