The winners of The Menu Food and Drink Awards have been announced following a welcome and highly-anticipated return after a two-year hiatus.
The successful companies were presented with their accolades at a glittering awards ceremony held at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews.
As well as celebrating the best culinary businesses from across Tayside and Fife, the awards also showcased five delicious courses from five top chefs in the area:
- Praveen Kumar, chef owner at Tabla Indian Restaurant in Perth
- Dean Banks, chef and owner of the Haar Restaurant in St Andrews
- Martin Hollis, executive chef at The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews
- Derek Johnstone, head chef at 18
- Ian Syme, executive chef at Fairmont St Andrews
The five culinary artists whipped up a tasty selection of high-quality food, from haggis bonda and vegetable pakora to hand-dived scallop and saddle of venison, much to the delight of hungry guests.
Editor of The Courier, David Clegg, was “delighted” to see such a “diverse” group of applications for this year’s awards.
He said: “The submissions paint a picture of an industry that continues to show resilience and ingenuity in the face of myriad of challenges.
“The food and drink sector is at the heart of our local economy, using natural resources of our fertile farmlands, rivers and coastline to create considerable value and provide job opportunities for thousands of workers.
“It has been said that food and drink is Courier Country’s equivalent of the north east oil and gas economy and its significance to this region really is difficult to overstate.”
With that in mind, here are the winners of The Menu Food and Drink Awards 2022.
The Menu Food and Drink Awards winners
Bar of the Year sponsored by CoelBrew
- The Tully by Ballintaggart
- “It’s brilliant to be recognised for what we do and we wanted to create a bar that was a little bit different from what else is available in Perthshire. It’s been a memorable year to be rewarded with such a great award.”
Brewer of the Year
- Ovenstone 109
- “This means a huge amount to us. I’ve been brewing for about four years and a huge amount of effort goes into it. I’m a big fan of promoting local so we have tried to use local suppliers to try make a difference and be that community business. To get an award for this is just amazing.”
Chef of the Year sponsored by Itison plus
- Andrew Moss – The North Port Restaurant
- “It’s not just me, I have a whole team behind me that do what we want to do. It’s a collaborative effort and it’s an amazing achievement for the team.”
- Sponsor Itison Plus said: “It was a pleasure to support The Menu Awards and celebrate with some of the best businesses in Scotland at The Old Course. Well done to all the winners!”
Entrepreneur of the Year
- Lynsey Harley – Modern Standard Coffee
- “We’re absolutely delighted to be given this award and it means a lot to have been able to bring back the business to Glenrothes and to be recognised by the local newspaper I was brought up with. We love what we’re doing.”
Craft Distiller of the Year
- The Perth Distillery Co
- “We’ve done this tonight for Perth and that’s really important to us. We want to be honest in what we do and honest to our customers. It’s about having good quality products and delivering that to the customer and we’re proud to do that tonight and take this award home to Perth.”
Food/Drink Visitor Destination of the Year
- The Pickled Peacock
- “I think hospitality has gone through a really tough time so for me it’s showing people that we really care. Our team work so hard and hospitality is what brings the Dundee folk together.”
Independent Café of the Year
- Highly commended: Zest (St Andrews)
- Winner: Fisher and Donaldson
- “We totally were not expecting it as it was a great roundup of cafes and we’re really honoured to take it home. We’re absolutely thrilled.”
Newcomer of the Year sponsored by the ALTAR Group
- The Boar’s Head
- “Everyone has worked so hard and it really means a lot to win this award. Everyone is so proud of being part of a team. We bought this pub in the height of Covid as we seen the potential behind it and believed the impossible and just through sheer endeavour, we’ve made a successful business.”
- Sponsor the ALTAR Group said: “It is fantastic to see so many innovative and creative Food & Drink businesses emerging in our local economy. ALTAR Group is delighted to continue our involvement with the Awards and congratulate all winners.”
Producer of the Year sponsored by The Swilcan Loft Restaurant at the Old Course Hotel
- Highly commended: The WeeCOOK Pies
- Winner: Clootie McToot Dumplings
- “I am absolutely delighted to be the winner. Everything about the whole night was just amazing, this mean’s a lot to me and my team as we work so hard so it’s a really nice token of appreciation.”
- Sponsor the Old Course Hotel said: “Recognising local talent is important to us and we’re very pleased to support The Menu Food and Drink Awards.”
Restaurant of the Year sponsored by Highland Game
- Little’s Restaurant
- “I’m chuffed to bits and my staff will be happy. This is brilliant and I’m at an age where I would like to retire and it’s nice to win something so good.”
- Sponsor Highland Game said: “We are delighted to support The Courier Menu Food Awards since its inception and to award and celebrate with the very best restauranteurs that cover the fine food regions of Fife, Tayside, Perthshire and Angus region.”
Street Food Vendor of the Year
- The Shack Street Food
- “I did not expect to win this at all. I can’t believe it, I’m absolutely over the moon.”
Sustainability Award sponsored by Invest Fife
- The Little Green Larder
- Sponsor Invest Fife said: “Invest Fife is delighted to sponsor the Sustainability category of the Menu Awards 2022. Well done to The Little Green Larder. This award celebrates those businesses who are innovative and have adapted their practices to transition to a sustainable Net Zero operation. Creating a sustainable food culture across the region is a key priority for the anchor organisations in Fife and Tayside.”
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Kitschbake owner Mary Jane delivered over 600 school meals throughout her village making sure that nobody went without. Great work Kitschnbake.
- “The work we done was never done for praise or thanks, we wouldn’t have a business if it wasn’t for the people in our local community and when Covid locked everything down we just wanted to help. We never thought for one second that we would win this, it’s massive for us.”
The Menu Food & Drink Brand Ambassador of the Year
- Will Docker of Balgove Larder
- “This is a huge honour and I’m not sure I’m worthy of it but I will be working my socks off to make sure that I do earn it and deserve it. The industry is an amazing industry with so many phenomenal people in it and I have been supported by an amazing team. It’s amazing the momentum that we have.”