Fred Berkmiller, Chef Patron of Edinburgh restaurants L’Escargot Blanc and L’Escargot Bleu, is up for a double success at this year’s Catering Scotland Excellence (CIS) Awards.

With Berkmiller himself shortlisted for the Chef of the Year title for a second time, his L’Escargot Blanc (The White Snail) establishment in the capital’s Queensferry Street is one of three finalists in the Restaurant of the Year category, alongside Glasgow’s Gamba and Shirley Spear’s Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye. His other restaurant, L’Escargot Bleu (The Blue Snail) is in the capital’s Broughton Street.

Other contenders for Chef of the Year include: Billy Boyter, who reopened The Cellar at Anstruther in 2014; Brian Grigor of The Balmoral; previous winner Geoffrey Smeddle of the Michelin-starred Peat Inn at St Andrews; and 2017 finalist Paul Wedgwood of Wedgwood The Restaurant on the capital’s Royal Mile.

Meanwhile, The Cellar’s Conor McLean, a member of the Scottish Culinary Olympics team, is one of three finalists in the Young Chef category, together with Craig Palmer of the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa in Aberdeen and Kevin McCafferty from City of Glasgow College.

Shortlisted in the particularly competitive Independent Hotel of the Year category are: The Douglas Hotel on the Isle of Arran, Dunstane Houses in Edinburgh and the Lovat Loch Ness, which is built on the site of a Hanoverian fort built to pacify the Highland clans after the 18th century Jacobite uprisings.

The Group Hotel of the Year Award will be contested by the Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central, Sonas Hotels’ Skeabost House, near Portree on Skye, and The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian.

The nautical-themed Nobles Café Bar and Restaurant in Leith is shortlisted for the Pub Excellence Award where it is up against Rabble Taphouse and Grill in Edinburgh’s Frederick Street and the city’s Scran and Scallie.

As the country’s annual contest for the hospitality, catering and tourism sectors, the CIS Excellence Awards are widely accepted as the ultimate accolade for chefs, hotels, restaurants, gastropubs and educational institutions. In this, their 15th anniversary, they will be presented at the Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central on Thursday 31st May.

For more information on the shortlist of finalists or to book a place at the event, call 0131 557 5767 or visit

The 2018 CIS Excellence Awards, in partnership with
The Shortlist in Full

Employee of the Year Award, sponsored by Fresh Food Company

Due to holidays and entrants’ availability for interview, the shortlist for this category will be announced w/c 30th April

The Sustainable Business Award, sponsored by Green Tourism and Seafood Scotland

BaxterStorey Scotland
Hickory, Edinburgh
The Scottish Café & Restaurant, Edinburgh

The Business Innovation Award, co-sponsored by Sodexo *This award is available for co-sponsorship*

Chefs Eye Tech
The Scottish Salmon Company, Edinburgh
Shepherd Filters UK

The Healthier Scotland Award, sponsored by the healthy living award, in association with NHS Health Scotland

Aramark @ Aegon
Buchanan Bistro, Aberdeenshire
ESS Offshore Food and Nutrition Team

The Training and Employee Retention Award, sponsored by

Auchrannie Leisure Ltd, Isle of Arran
City of Glasgow College / CAL MAC Hospitality Apprenticeship
North Lanarkshire Council

The Pub Excellence Award, sponsored by KraftHeinz Foodservice

Nobles Café Bar & Restaurant, Edinburgh
Rabble Taphouse & Grill, Edinburgh
Scran and Scallie, Edinburgh

The Banqueting and Events Chef Award, co-sponsored by ASA Recruitment and Tilda

Scott Brodowski, Hickory, Edinburgh
Brian Canale, Heritage Portfolio, Edinburgh
Andrew Laycock, Wilde Thyme Catering, Perthshire
Ann Milne, Hudsons Catering, Aberdeen

The Restaurant Newcomer of the Year Award, sponsored by Kafoodle

Colonnades at the Signet Library, Edinburgh
The Spanish Butcher, Glasgow
Sugar Boat, Helensburgh

The Food Tourism Award, sponsored by BidFood Scotland

Ballintaggart Farm, Pitlochry, Perthshire
Eat on the Green, Ellon, Aberdeenshire
Salar Smokehouse Ltd, South Uist

The Hospitality Educator of the Year Award, sponsored by CH&Co Group

Tony Budde, Dumfries and Galloway College
Kenneth Hett, City of Glasgow College
Vicki Munro, SRUC Elmwood College

The Independent Hotel of the Year Award, co-sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance and the Royal Bank of Scotland

The Douglas Hotel, Isle of Arran
The Dunstane Houses, Edinburgh
The Lovat Loch Ness, Fort Augustus

The Patisserie Chef of the Year Award, sponsored by Callebaut

Stephen Espouy, The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh
Gary Millard, Colonnades at the Signet Library, Edinburgh

The Group Hotel of the Year Award, co-sponsored by Instock *This award is available for co-sponsorship*

Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central
Skeabost House Hotel, Isle of Skye
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

The Young Chef of the Year Award, sponsored by Brakes Scotland

Craig Palmer, Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, Aberdeen
Kevin McCafferty, City of Glasgow College
Conor McLean, The Cellar, Anstruther

The Restaurant of the Year Award, co-sponsored by Aramark and Olleco

Gamba, Glasgow
L’Escargot Blanc , Edinburgh
The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye

The Chef of the Year Award, sponsored by BaxterStorey Scotland

Fred Berkmiller, L’Escargot Restaurants, Edinburgh
Billy Boyter, The Cellar Restaurant, Anstruther
Brian Grigor, The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
Geoffrey Smeddle, The Peat Inn, St Andrews
Paul Wedgwood, Wedgwood The Restaurant, Edinburgh

The Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Braehead Foods

The winner of this award will be announced and awarded at the awards ceremony on the evening of 31st May.

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