A Taste of Scotland
- The Macallan Awards

home of The Macallan
Easter Elches House - Home of The Macallan

For fourteen years A Taste of Scotland has selected a number of their member restaurants for awards of excellence. For the past eight years Macallan whisky have been the sponsors. Nominations are received from the general public who wish to put forward a favourite eatery for an award. Through competition between members and another judging process by the awards panel, this further promotes improvement and originality in the kitchen.

In order for every type of establishment to have the opportunity of an award, whatever scale or grade they may be, there are various categories of awards, including best city restaurant and Country House, last year won by the Ubiquitous Chip of Glasgow and Auchterarder House.

Cosses Country HouseBest Small Residence was won in 2000 by Cosses Country House in Ballantrae, Ayrshire. There are only three bedrooms. The family grow their own vegetables, herbs and some fruit. All bread and teacakes are home made as are preserves and yoghurt. The hotel is described as "treasury of good food"

Tobermory Cheddar souffles
Ballantrae lobster with garden herb mayonnaise, with Cosses new potatoes and salad
Home grown blackcurrant creme brulee

Ubiquitous Chip Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow - situated on a cobbled mews in the West End with courtyard area as well as traditional dining room. The cuisine combines the traditional with innovative recipes. This is what previous diners have commented:

"The Chip is a classic. Ever evolving yet never losing its original appeal - innovation with integrity."
"Modern Scottish cooking."

There is also an award for Dedication to the use of local seasonal produce. In 2000 this was given to Auchendean Lodge Hotel, at Dulnain Bridge, Inverness-shire. Owners Eric Hart and Ian Kirk enjoy giving their guests a memorable dining experience. Eric finds over 30 varieties of edible local mushrooms and the hotel garden provides many vegetables. This is a sample menu:

Home cured beef with garden rocket salad and St. Andrews cheese
Breast of wild pigeon with Madeira sauce
Blackcurrant, liquorice and vanilla icecream.

The MacallanThe contenders for the Macallan awards for 2001 are currently being assessed by the Taste for Scotland team who will tour the length and breadth of the country, "eating for Scotland". A shortlist will be announced at the end of September and the Oscar style awards ceremony will take place on November 5th. An event that is sure to go with a bang!

A Taste of Scotland is also developing a series of other projects and schemes in order to continue their promotion of natural cooking using the best of Scotland's larder of fresh local food. While hotels have always been graded in a star system, the same is not true for restaurants. The organisation, with funding from VisitScotland and regional tourist boards, is now developing a Food Grading system so that at a glance the prospective diner knows what to expect in terms of quality of food and standard of service. It makes perfect sense and makes the choice of where to eat, for whatever occasion, a wee bit easier by looking out for the international symbol of three, four or five stars.

A job which entails a fair amount of eating out at restaurants all year round could begin to lose its attraction after a while. But for Amanda Brown, this is not a problem. "I love eating and drinking" she says. And of course the delight of A Taste of Scotland restaurants is the variety of good natural home cooking, - fresh and healthy meals.

What is her favourite place eat - in her day off? As it is impossible to select just one of the 400 restaurants in her guide, Amanda admits she is very partial to Chinese and Japanese - as well as a good Indian curry - for which of course Glasgow is world renowned.

A Taste of Scotland

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