The shortlist for the prestigious 2015 Grampian Food Forum Awards were announced on Tuesday, February 17.
The shortlist sees 29 of the very best food and drink producers in the North-east announced at Poterhouse, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie.
Over 80 nominations from 33 businesses were received by the Grampian Food Forum following a regional campaign to encourage food and drink producers to enter.
The judging team, comprised of Stephen Brown, Local Sourcing and Diversification Manager with Scotmid Co-operative Foods, and Graham Singer, Food Operations Manager with ESS Support Services Worldwide, was very impressed with the standard of entries.
Stephen said: “I would like to thank all the entrants for submitting their applications, it’s been a fantastic day sampling many interesting products, demonstrating how vibrant the food and drink sector is in Grampian.
“It is a privilege to represent Scotmid Co-operative Foods on the judging panel and to have tasted such a diverse range of products many of which have the potential to be seen on our shelves in the near future.
“I’m really looking forward to the finals where we have the opportunity to meet the people behind the product.”
Those reaching the final include Amity Fish Co Limited, Angus and Oink, Associated Seafoods Ltd, Baxters Food Group, BrewDog Ltd, Cambus O’May Cheese Company Limited, Castleton Farm Shop, Chalmers Bakery Ltd, Cocoa Ooze, Dean’s, Donald Russell Ltd, Downie’s of Whitehills, Eat on the Green, Entier Limited, Felicity’s Chocolate, Gordon and MacPhail, James Rizza & Sons Ltd, JG Ross (Bakers) Ltd, John Ross Jr (Aberdeen) Ltd, Mackintosh of Glendaveny Ltd, Made2Taste, Nor-Sea Foods Ltd, Oatmeal of Alford, Pulsetta Foods Ltd, sixdnorth, Speyside Craft Brewery Ltd, The Bay Fish and Chips, The Store Company and Windswept Brewing Co Ltd.
The winners will be announced by Colin MacLean, Chief Operating Officer of Scotmid Co-operative Foods, at the Innovation Awards Dinner which is taking place at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa on Thursday, March 19.
Tickets for the dinner cost £70 each and can be booked online at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/foodawards
As well as working with local food and drink producers, the Grampian Food Forum has, for the first time, commissioned local artists to create bespoke, hand-made trophies.
Glass-maker Jane Ronie and Lethenty Cabinetmakers are collaborating to produce the trophies, which are made of glass coloured to resemble the Grampian Food Forum’s logo and a wooden base made of sustainable elm sourced locally from Aberdeenshire forests.