The ‘Taste of Local Food’ Awards are to be re-introduced this year.They will become available to all businesses who genuinely use local produce. The new guidelines are being produced and will be published shortly.
Previous winners, The Glenview Hotel, Plockton Shores and Glenelg Village Shop were awarded the highest accolades by Skye and Lochalsh Food Link (SLFL) producer members at the third annual Awards.
The awards for Best Hotel/Restaurant, Best Café/Bistro/Inns/Pubs and Best Local Retailer, are awarded to businesses showing an outstanding commitment to the use and promotion of local produce.
Skye and Lochalsh Food Link also awarded a Special Award for Continued Excellence to previous award winners, The Three Chimneys Restaurant and Chandlery at The Bosville, in recognition of their ongoing support of local producers and whose outstanding commitment to ensuring the local provenance of the food they serve is the cornerstone of their kitchen ethos.
Shirley Spear commented: “We are thrilled to be recognised for our ongoing use of fresh local produce of all kinds but, more than this, Michael and I were delighted that two new chefs with up and coming business are using Skye and Lochalsh produce to their full advantage and contributing to the area’s longstanding reputation for the excellent quality of its food.”
“Finding local produce in shops and on menus around the area used to be a rarity,” said previous SLFL chair, Carole Inglis. “It is only through the dedication and cooperation of producers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and retailers that it has becoming ever easier for the public to find and enjoy the fruits of their labour.”
The Food Link group is a community interest company (CIC) of like-minded producers who have worked together over the last thirteen years to secure the reputation of Skye and Lochalsh as one of the best ‘food tourism’ destinations in the UK.
“The secret of our success is teamwork, not to mention a lot of hard graft behind the scenes,” she continued. “This unique environment produces some of the finest quality foods to found anywhere in the world and the awards are our way of saying thank you to the local hospitality and retail sector for making the most of it!”
The criteria for nomination is not just based on volume of sales but on regularity of orders, range of produce supplied and a strong commitment to supporting and promoting local food, this allows the smaller businesses who support local food producers to be recognised as well.
Dede MacGillivray, previous awards co-ordinator said: “A number of smaller, perhaps less well known businesses, have achieved an award – which is wonderful – and I hope this will encourage others to start buying local produce; using local food can benefit businesses both large and small, you don’t need to be award winning to make it profitable’.”
She went on to say: “More and more businesses are reaping the benefits of buying local food. Even if it is only a relatively small touch, such as offering a breakfast of locally produced eggs, bacon or fish, serving local jam with a Skye tea or putting a welcome gift of local fudge on the pillow, these are the details that make the lasting impression that customers are increasingly looking for.”
For more details on the promotional benefits of membership for hotels, restaurants, B&B’s and retailers, as well as producers, please contact via the contacts link.