THE richness and diversity of the North-east larder was celebrated at the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards held on Thursday, 21 March.
And local firms managed to come away with multiple awards on the evening. Mitchells of Inverurie won The Taste of Grampian Local Independent Retailer of the Year Award; Ola Oils won Grampian Food Forum Award for the Best New Retail Product for businesses up to 25 employees for their “Ola Aioli” and The Most Successful Product from the 2012 Grampian Food Forum Award for their “Ola Chilli Jam”, Mackie’s of Scotland won the Grampian Food Forum Award for the Best New Foodservice Product for businesses with more than 25 employees for their “Damson & Oat Dairy Ice Cream” and Donald Russell Ltd were second in the Grampian Food Forum Award for the Best New Retail Product for businesses with more than 25 employees, for their “Fondant Pudding Selection”.
During the day, over 60 entries from 23 food and drink companies were sampled and assessed by the judging panel Lorna Murray, local food sourcing and technical manager for Asda and Simon Cousins, series producer of BBC Scotland’s Landward.
Heading up the judging panel was Peter Bruce, managing director of Aberdeen catering and hospitality company Entier Limited.
Commenting on the high standard of entries, Peter Bruce said: “It has been a great honour for me to be involved in the Innovation Awards. As a local business, we pride ourselves on using many local producers and suppliers.
“It has not been an easy decision for the judges to select the winners as there were so many fabulous products from great companies who demonstrated passion for what they do and what they produce. I believe they could develop and thrive through their participation in these awards and have great potential to market their products throughout the UK.
“I was particularly pleased to see that some companies had built on an initial product concept to develop new product ranges which have added value to their businesses.”
Over 210 guests from the food and drink industry attended the awards dinner, which were held at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa in Aberdeen, to hear the winners announced.
The category winners were presented with their trophies by Colin Henry, Business Development Director, Entier Limited in the absence Peter Bruce.