Cream of North-east food and drink industry set to battle it out for top awards

Paul McQuade, Karen Ford and Jason Robertson are to judge the North East Food and Drink Awards.

Businesses across the North-east were celebrating today after making it to the final of a prestigious awards.

The North East Food and Drink Awards picked 36 firms following a record number of applications.

The prize-giving, delivered in partnership with Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeenshire Council, celebrates 13 different sectors of the industry, from breweries to farm shops and takeaways to bakers.

Awards up for grabs include Best New Retail Product, Best New Brewed or Distilled Product and Most Successful Product from the 2017 awards.

The judging panel for this year’s awards included Paul McQuade, head of department (food buying), LIDL, Karen Ford, foodhall manager at Brodie Countryfare, Jason Robertson, retail development manager, National Trust for Scotland and Sarah Mackie of Brakes.

Paul, who was chairman of the judging panel, said: “We were very impressed by the calibre of entries this year. It made the judging process no easy feat but it’s great to see brilliant businesses flourishing across the North-east.”

The businesses which reached the 2018 finals are: Associated Seafoods, Balvenie St Ice Cream, Big Beefy’s Biltong, Brew Toon, Castleton Farm Shop, Cocoa Ooze, Craig Wilson of Eat on The Green, Dean’s, Donald Russell, Duncan Farms, Esker Spirits Ltd, Fierce Beer, George Moir Savoury Foods, Glen Garioch Distillery, Gregor Mackintosh of Mackintosh of Glendaveny, Hungry Squirrel, John Ross Jr (Aberdeen) Ltd, Joseph Robertson, Lost Loch Distillery, MacDuff Shellfish, Mackie’s of Scotland, Paul Duncan of Duncan’s of Deeside, Rora dairy, Smith Bakers, Spey Valley Brewery, Summerhouse Drinks, Sutherland’s of Portsoy, The Alexander Smokery, The Bay Fish & Chips, The Devenick Dairy, The Tin Coo, The Walled Garden Trading Co, Twin River Distillery, UWA Tequila, VegCo, Windswept Brewing Co and Wooha Brewing.

The awards ceremony will be held on March 22, at Ardoe House Hotel.