Resilience and ingenuity celebrated at The Courier Food and Drink Awards

Resilience and ingenuity celebrated at The Courier Food and Drink Awards

The best culinary businesses from across Tayside and Fife were celebrated this week at the fourth Courier Food and Drink Awards, held at The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews.

Boasting more entries than ever before, the awards shine a light on the businesses and people around Courier Country making a difference in an industry crucial to the local economy.

In his welcome on the night, editor of The Courier, David Clegg, said: “The submissions paint a picture of an industry that continues to show resilience and ingenuity in the face of myriad 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.”

Bar of the Year (sponsored by Diageo) went to Dundee’s The Barrelman which was praised by judges for supporting local, creating a real community vibe and engaging with charities. Thomas and Jacqueline Fox, the people behind the venue, also picked up the Entrepreneur of the Year award (sponsored by ALTAR Group).

Wasted Degrees Brewing took Brewer of the Year (sponsored by School of Business, Dundee University). As well as producing great beer, judges were impressed with the Blair Atholl company’s environmental consciousness and their ambition in branching into the European market.

Thomas Tsappis of Killiecrankie House was awarded Chef of the Year for showing ‘amazing creativity in menu development and the very best use of seasonal, local and sustainable ingredients’.

The Community Champion award (sponsored by Apex Hotels) was given to Broughty Ferry’s Braw Tea café, a social enterprise supporting disadvantaged women from all walks of life through training, work and friendship.

In the Craft Distiller of the Year category (sponsored by DP&L Group), The Kingsbarns Company of Distillers impressed judges by their growth over recent years and international recognition for their products.

Independent Café of the Year (sponsored by The Rookery) went to Sweetpea Café for its ‘great vibe and inventive menu’.

Producer of the Year (sponsored by Swilcan Loft) was given to Angus Soft Fruits with judges commenting on the quality of the product and commitment to the environment. The company were also highly commended in the sustainability category.

After taking the newcomer award in 2022, Auchtermuchty’s Boar’s Head won Restaurant of the Year for 2024 (sponsored by Barnetts Toyota). Judges were impressed with the ‘commitment to provenance, using the best locally sourced ingredients to provide an affordable fine dining experience’.

Rising Star of the Year (sponsored by Malmaison) was a public vote, with the award going to Ethan O’Hare from Carnoustie’s WeeCOOK, who was highly commended in the 2022 awards.

Street Vendor of the Year went to Choola, a husband and wife team bringing the flavours of Nepal to Fife from their street food van.

Based out of Craigencalt Farm by Kinghorn Loch Greenheart Growers took the Sustainability Award (sponsored by InvestFife). The market garden project provides positive social outcomes for the community, supplying fresh, organically grown produce to cafes and restaurants as well as veg boxes to locals.

A special awards winners supplement will be published in The Courier on Monday April 1st.