Nominations close at midnight on Saturday 22 December 2018 

Businesses and the public have until midnight on Saturday 22 December to nominate their favourite shop, bar or restaurant for the Taste Local Awards 2019, which celebrate the use of local food by food and drink businesses in Skye & Lochalsh. The online nomination process takes seconds at www.tastelocalawards.com.

Local food fans can nominate businesses that promote and support the local food network in ten different categories. They include Best Restaurant, Best Restaurant with Rooms, Best Café or Coffee Shop; Best Community Café; Best Pop up, Food Event or Takeaway; Best Hotel; Best B&B or Guesthouse; Best Retailer; Best Pub and Best Newcomer.

The awards are run by the Skye & Lochalsh Food Link CIC in partnership with Skye Connect and have been relaunched this year to better celebrate and promote the use of local food by businesses in the area. It is also hoped that the awards will raise awareness of the Food Link van service run by Skye & Lochalsh Food Link CIC which helps connect and distribute local produce to local outlets.

Businesses and members of the public can nominate any food and drink outlet in the Isle of Skye or Lochalsh Area online quickly and easily at www.tastelocalawards.com. So far more than 250 nominations have been received for the awards since their launch on 22 November. Businesses already nominated include the Red Brick Café; Inga’s Sweet Treats and the Cuillin Hills Hotel in Portree; The Plockton Hotel; The Glendale Highland Market and the Glendale Shop; The Crofter’s Bite in Struan and the Stein Inn and the Lochbay Restaurant in Waternish.

After nominations close on 22 December nominees will be sent a short questionnaire to complete. Their answers will then be judged alongside comments submitted along with the nominations by a team of six local producer judges. They include Anthony Hovey of Skye Vegetables, Glenys MacLean of Isle of Skye Free Range, Roger Whiddon of Isle of Skye Fresh Produce, Rachael Jackson of Orbost Farm, Alistair Wilson of Isle of Skye Distillers and Nanette Muir of Isle of Skye Sea Salt.

The judges will shortlist three finalists in each of the 10 categories with the shortlist revealed on 1 January 2019. The winners will then be announced at a lunchtime awards ceremony held at the Sligachan Hotel on the Isle of Skye on 27 February 2019. Winners will be presented with ‘A Taste of Local Food’ plaque which can be mounted on the outside wall of their premises for two years.

The Awards are run by Natalie Bayfield, awards manager for Skye & Lochalsh Food Link CIC, along with John Corfield of the Isle of Skye Smokehouse, John Coghill of the Sligachan Hotel and Luke Slater of Pelican Design.

Organiser and awards manager Natalie Bayfield said:

We’ve been overwhelmed with nominations for the Taste Local Awards 2019 but if you haven’t voted yet you have until midnight on Saturday, 22 December. These awards celebrate the diversity and dedication of local food producers and supporters so we encourage everyone to take a moment to nominate their favourites.

John Corfield, sponsorship manager and director of Skye & Lochalsh Food Link CIC, said:

Local food and produce are essential to the Skye & Lochalsh area and these awards recognise the valuable contribution that local businesses play.

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