The brightest and most innovative names in Scottish tourism faced a mouth-watering feast as UK hospitality bosses created a show stopping menu for Scotland’s tourism Oscars.
This year’s Scottish Thistle Awards, which recognise excellence by individuals and businesses in the Scottish tourism sector, saw some of the biggest and best names in the industry enjoy a five star feast for the prestigious regional award ceremonies.
Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, catering and hospitality partners to several of Scotland’s most exclusive venues, including three of this year’s regional Thistle Award venues – Hampden Park, Perth Racecourse and Edinburgh’s Royal College of Physicians - put together an inventive menu designed to showcase the best of Scottish produce.
Looking to demonstrate their commitment to fresh, local produce, Sodexo Prestige’s team of executive chefs sourced ingredients from across the country to feature in the menu for the important occasion.
Key components in this year’s menu included Highland Smoked Salmon from Fort William, Smoked Mussels from the Argyll Smokery in Dunoon and Venison from Braehead Foods in Kilmarnock.
Stephen Frost, Executive Chef for Sodexo Prestige said of the menu: “Given the nature of this prestigious event, my team of chefs were keen to put together an impeccable menu which not only wowed those who ate it, but showcased the excellent quality of the produce we have available here in Scotland.
“Our Executive Chef, Trevor Garden, designed the menu for the occasion which featured an impressive Scottish Estate Roast Venison from Braehead Foods. We felt this was a prime opportunity to showcase the excellent quality of meat we have on our doorstep.
“The Scallops from Direct Seafoods added to our light and fresh seafood starter of cured Scottish Salmon and Smoked Mussels with Watercress Salad, Beetroot Salsa and Wasabi Tempura.
“We believe that these kinds of creative dishes help to demonstrate the talent of our expert chefs, while also ensuring an exciting and enjoyable dining experience for those involved.”
This year’s menu also included a cheeseboard put together by Taste of Arran to showcase their delicious selection of cheeses, oatcakes and chutney’s.
Amanda Brown, National Accounts Director for Sodexo Prestige added:"It was an honour and a privilege to cater for such a significant event for Scotland’s tourism industry.
“We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to this year’s regional winners and we wish all the best to those through to the finals.”
Finalists from this year’s regional awards are set to meet their competitors at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow in March next year for the final Scottish Thistle Awards ceremony.
The national final will form part of the Signature Programme, at Scottish Tourism Week in March 2015. The Signature Programme will see Scotland’s tourism industry descend on Glasgow from the 3rd-5th March for six must-attend events, showcasing Scotland as an ultimate destination for food, drink, tourism and hospitality.
Stephen Carter, the Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, said: “The Scottish Thistle Awards is all about recognising the cream of the crop, so it was only fitting that our shortlisted finalists were treated to the finest of menus.
“Sodexo Prestige did an outstanding job creating a three-course meal that celebrated our renowned natural larder and showcased the diverse range of ingredients available across Scotland.
“The calibre of entries to this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards has been fantastic and on behalf of the panel I want to congratulate all those shortlisted for our regional ceremony, particularly our winners to whom I wish the greatest of luck for the next stage of the competition.”
For the first time in its 22 year history, the Scottish Thistle Awards are now led by several organisations including VisitScotland, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.