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2019 Food & Drinks Awards Categories

The Mid & East Lothian Food & Drink Awards 2019 is now open for nominations. Traditionally held as 2 separate events in East Lothian & Midlothian, the Awards have recognised the success of the region’s food and drink industry for a number of years by highlighting innovation and business excellence in the sector.

Delivered in partnership with East Lothian:Scotland's Food & Drink County and Midlothian Council, the Mid & East Lothian Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be given the opportunity to host this now joint Midlothian & East Lothian Food & Drinks Awards for the first time.

Open to food and drink businesses in East Lothian and Midlothian area, it is the only awards event created to support and boost local producers and suppliers, chefs, restaurants, pubs and hoteliers, and people who care about the countryside and the future of our local environment. *Closing date for entry is 31st January 2019. 

Main Entry Criteria:

  • All entrants must come from within Midlothian & East Lothian

  • Judges are especially looking for the use of locally or regionally sourced produce; imaginative, creative dishes using seasonal produce; food quality and presentation; hospitality and service efficiency; cleanliness; facilities, decor and ambience among other criteria

  • Judges will also be looking for evidence of good environmental practices

    Terms & Conditions 

    All entrants who make the shortlist of the three must agree to provide complimentary meals/drinks for two judging panel members per category shortlisted on production of a voucher.

    The judging visit will be made over a four-week period and will be unannounced.

  • Awards Categories

Best Eatery in a Visitor Attraction

Judges of this category will be looking for a café / eatery located in garden centres, museums, farm affiliated venues or other visitor attractions that really meet the needs of its customers. Does it demonstrate attention to diners both in terms of its food offering, atmosphere, information and variety of menu? 

Restaurant / Fine Dining of the Year

The restaurant of the year will offer a fabulous dining experience, everything from ambience to the service and most importantly, the food. Are ingredients locally sourced? Is the drinks list local as well as international? Service should be of an extremely high standard and staff will be judged on their knowledge of the menu and wine to complement the dishes. 

Best Café / Tea Room

The establishment must serve a range of teas and coffees. Judges will be looking for a selection of bites to eat, cakes as well as a welcoming, comfortable and relaxing environment. 

Pub / Bistro of the Year

It is awarded to an establishment that offers consistency and excellence in both their food and drinks specialism. The panel will judge on staff knowledge and service, the overall feel and facilities as well as use of local micro-breweries. The panel will also be looking for good atmosphere and a friendly welcome. 

Excellence in Customer Service

Judges will be looking for an outstanding level of customer service throughout with evidence of continuous staff training and customer feedback processes. 

Local Producer of the Year

This award recognises local producers whose passion for Midlothian / East Lothian produce is at the heart of their business. It’s open to all producers who demonstrate a real passion for our county’s food and drink. 

Most Innovative New Product

This is awarded to a food / drink producer who can demonstrate a high level of innovation and how this has had a positive impact on their business. Judges will be looking at new flavours, new concepts, all the way to clever packaging and successes in environmental responsibility. 

Best Takeaways

It is awarded to an establishment who can demonstrate best quality food combine with a fast, efficient and reliable service as well as value for money.

Who can enter?

• Food and drink manufacturers
• Retailers, producers, growers, hospitality, restaurateurs

How to enter?

  • Visit our website and find a category to enter see above - Awards Categories
  • Make sure you read above - our Terms and Conditions
  • Download the Awards FORM and submit your application for free by email to dita@thebusinesspartnership.org.uk before 31st January 2019
  • After uploading your entry, you should receive an email receipt of your  submission
  • Judging process will commence from Early February 2019
  • The shortlist will be announced mid-February. We will send you an email first before we make the shortlist public.
  • We will send out a press release, post on social media, and feature it in the MELCC e-newsletter and website.
  • Winners will be announced at the Food & Drink Awards Ceremony and Dinner on 27th March 2019 at Eskmills Venue, Musselburgh
  • Finalists are entitled for 1 free place each at the awards dinner.  Extra tickets can be purchased at £45 plus VAT pp 

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