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Winners of Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards (HIFAD) revealed at ceremony at Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness

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Downright Gabbler were among the winners on the night.
Downright Gabbler were among the winners on the night.

THE excellence of the food and drinks industry in the Highlands was celebrated at an awards ceremony last night.

The annual Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards 2022 saw 250 guests gathering at Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness to celebrate the very best of Scotland’s larder.

Winners ranged from classic Highland heroes such as whiskey and salmon to creative innovations such as seaweed crisps and barrel-aged beer.

Among the winners, which spanned across 15 categories, Cù Bòcan Single Malt by Tomatin Distillery was named best whiskey on the night, Shore Seaweed Chips from Wick won the best food retail category, Downright Gabbler in Beauly was crowned best food & drink tourism experience and IV10 in Rosemarkie was named the best eatery.

The team from Tomatin collecting the award for Cu Bocan single malt.
The team from Tomatin collecting the award for Cu Bocan single malt.

Winner of Ambassador of the Year and managing director of Wester Ross Salmon, Gilpin Bradley, said: “I am incredibly honored to have received this award and delighted that it will give me further opportunities to promote awareness of these awards, the sector, and it’s importance to the economy of the Highlands and Islands throughout the coming year; in my position as Ambassador.

“The resilience, innovation and passion within the Highlands and Islands food and drink industry never fails to impress and inspire and I offer my congratulations to all of the winners and finalists.”

Chair of the judging panel, Elaine Jamieson, head of food and drink and life sciences at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “Congratulations to all winners and finalists who represent the very best in world class products and services from the Highlands and Islands. After a two-year absence the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards is back with a record-breaking number of entries, each of an exceptional calibre.

“Selecting the winners was a difficult task for the judging panel. The quality of products, the degree of innovation and the drive on sustainability shone through the entries and was really exciting to see. It was particularly positive to see a large number of entries for the eatery categories given the difficult trading conditions during the pandemic and the Awards truly celebrated the return of the region’s hospitality industry. Of course, the backbone of all of this is the people to work in sector, and the Awards is an important occasion to celebrate them.”

The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards, now in their 17th year, look to recognize the very best products, food and drink experiences, outstanding retailers and businesses demonstrating sustainability, quality and diversity.

Follow the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and announcements. Find them on @hifooddrink on Twitter and Facebook.

For further information please visit

Nicky Marr about to call the winners on the awards night.
Nicky Marr about to call the winners on the awards night.

Complete list of winners:


Winner: Windswept Brewing Company – Windswept Brewing Barrel Aged Range

Notes from judges: with ‘strong and distinctive’ flavours, the judges commented on how this company was brave in being ‘out there’, not only in taste, but in nose and color too.


Winner: Highland Liquor Company – Seven Crofts and Seven Crofts Fisherman’s Strength

Highly commended: Isle of Barra Distillers Ltd- Island Dark Rum

Notes from judges: The judges noted a variety of tastes from this product, ranging from seaweed and mineral notes providing a balanced and unique flavour.


Winner: Tomatin Distillery – Cù Bòcan Single Malt

Notes from judges: This team worked hard on their 10-year strategy and dedicated ample time into knowing their audience and have also partnered with Highland Tourism to promote sustainable tourism within the Highlands.


Winner: Salar Smokehouse Ltd – Salar Smoked Salmon

Notes from judges: Each and every product made by the Foodservice winner is handled and produced with care as well as being uniquely made in a hand-built kiln to produce the signature flavor and taste this business’s consumer base has grown to know and love.


Winner: Shore The Scottish Seaweed Co – Shore Seaweed Chips

Notes from judges: The winner of this category demonstrated a clever marketing strategy and even started their own beach cleaning program across Scotland to heighten awareness. This product has also helped to bring a unique and distinctive flavor into the mainstream market for the first time

Highly commended: Bogrow Farm Charcuterie- Ross-shire Air Dried Ham

Highly commended: Chocolates of Glenshiel – Vegan Selection

BEST FOOD & DRINK TOURISM EXPERIENCE sponsored by Caledonian Sleeper

Winner: Downright Gambler

Notes from judges: the judges thought the businesses offering was creative and very unique, really standing out from the crowd. The business has created a sense of community both with locals and visitors, bringing in collaboration with nearby restaurants, farm shops and retailers.

INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR sponsored by Williamson Foodservice

Winner: Bùth Bharraigh

Notes from judges: The judges were impressed with this business’s commitment to sustainability and collaboration and showed a real sense of pride in their operations.

PRIMARY PRODUCER sponsored by Salmon Scotland

Winner: Bakkafrost Scotland

Notes from judges: The judges noted that the winner of this award is a pioneer in the way their produce is grown, cared for, and brought to market, with a real commitment to quality and sustainability within the industry.

SUPPLY CHAIN ​​BUSINESS sponsored by MacRoberts

Winner: Williamson Foodservice

Notes from judges: The winner has shown a real dedication to the Highlands and Islands tourism and food & drink sectors with a continual investment in its people and resources.

SUSTAINABILITY sponsored by Scotland Food & Drink

Winner: Bakkafrost Scotland

Notes from judges: This business nurtures a positive culture of continuous improvement and best practice – integral to their sustainable development

Winner: Beinn an Tuirc Distillers

Notes from judges: This business showed that their efforts were appropriate to their surroundings, and had a real sense of both itself, and its impact on others

BEST EATERY sponsored by Highland News Media

Winner: IV10

Notes from judges: The winner has shown incredible use of seasonal and local Scottish produce, everything from the menu through to the baked goods and cakes is made using seasonal ingredients with love and care

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR sponsored by MacGregor Supplies

Winner: Harbor Kitchen

Notes from judges: The food is downright fantastic and is excellent value for money. Brilliant and the judges say they would happily recommend that you all visit.

YOUNG AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR sponsored by Brook Street

Winner: Ella Moxon, Midge Bite Cafe

Notes from judges: This person ‘fizzes’ with energy and friendliness. The judges were impressed by the sheer determination of this young person who has a keen desire to learn and gain more experience within the food & drinks sector

Highly commended: Amy McBean, Highland Bakery


Winner: Left Coast Culture

Notes from judges: Helping to cater to the dietary needs of local Highlands and Islands, which are currently underrepresented and underserved, this business is ambitious and passionate about the future, a company that not only wants to grow but grow with a purpose.


Winner: Gilpin Bradley

Notes from judges: As managing director of Wester Ross Salmon for 32 years, no-one has done more to shape that company or brand – and no-one has been so committed for so long – as Gilpin.

He turned this small company into the top salmon producer in Scotland in terms of quality, provenance and price, making it the gold standard for Scottish salmon. He also made Wester Ross an extraordinary export success story, taking on a platoon of US salespeople to sell Wester Ross Salmon into the top restaurants, delis, and retail outlets across the United States.

He has been a fantastic ambassador, not just for Wester Ross Salmon but for Wester Ross as an area, for the Highlands and Islands and for Scottish salmon in general.

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