Celebration of local fare is on menu

The shortlist for Midlothian’s new Food and Drink Awards has been announced.

The awards, supported by the Advertiser, are a partnership between the Midlothian Tourism Forum and Midlothian Council.

The aim is to highlight the range of top quality food and drink suppliers and producers in the county.

A total of 1,889 residents from across Midlothian voted during March and April for their favourite food and drink suppliers, producers and venues.

The votes were used to compile the shortlist for each of the eight competition categories.

John Blair, the head of corporate resources at Midlothian Council, said: “These awards celebrate the excellent range of food and drink businesses we have here in Midlothian. I’d like to thank everyone who cast their vote and I look forward to welcoming representatives from all the shortlisted businesses at the official awards ceremony on May 31.”

Each category will be judged by a panel of experts from Midlothian Tourism Forum, Visit Scotland, the East of Scotland Food and Drink Network and Midlothian Council.

Each award sponsor, including the Advertiser, will also judge the entries in their award category.

The winners in each category will be announced at an evening awards ceremony dinner at Newbattle Abbey College.

Invited guests will be treated to a four-course menu from Midlothian-based catering manager Gordon Hodgson.

The menu has been specially designed to celebrate excellent locally-sourced produce from across Midlothian.

The project is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Tyne Esk Leader 2007-2013 Programme.

The shortlisted businesses in each category are as follows:

l Best Place for a Coffee (sponsored by Jim Divine Freelance Designer & Creative) – Cafe Troy, Jarnac Court, Dalkeith; Tesco Hardengreen, Bonnyrigg Road, Dalkeith; Cafe Panola at Pentland Plants, Loanhead

l Best Place for a Pint (sponsored by Midlothian Advertiser) – The Blacksmith’s Forge, Dalkeith; The Buccleuch, Dalkeith; Dean Tavern, Newtongrange

l Best Place for Lunch (sponsored by Midlothian Tourism Forum) – Cafe Troy, Dalkeith; Cafe Panola at Pentland Plants, Loanhead; Melville Inn, Lasswade; Orchard Cafe at Mayshade Garden Centre, Dalkeith

l Best Place for Dinner (sponsored by Flowers by Lamb, Dalkeith) – Itihaas, Dalkeith; The Clippers Indian Restaurant, Penicuik; Gigi’s Italian Restaurant, Bonnyrigg

l Best Outside Caterer (sponsored by Ikea) – Deli-licious Catering, Loanhead; Court Caterers, Newtongrange; Clan Caterers, Dalkeith

l Best Local Food or Drink Producer (sponsored by EAE) – Stewart Brewing, Loanhead; Creme-de-la-Cupcake, Bonnyrigg; Macsween, Bilston Glen, Loanhead; Cosmo Products, Bonnyrigg

l Best Customer Service (sponsored by Jewel & Esk Valley College) – Memories of India, Gorebridge; Cafe Troy, Dalkeith; Itihaas, Dalkeith

l Best Place for a Takeaway (sponsored by Costco) – Memories of India, Gorebridge; L’Aurora Takeaway, Pathhead; Kebab Mehal, Dalkeith