The Barley Bree in Perthshire won the coveted Restaurant of the Year category at the Scottish Restaurant Awards last night while Andrew Radford of Edinburgh's Timberyard was named as the Scottish Chef of the Year.
Run in association with The Daily Record and 5pm.co.uk, the fifth Scottish Restaurant Awards ceremony took place in Edinburgh's Ghillie Dhu in front of an audience comprising the country's top chefs and restaurateurs.
Over 4000 nominations
The winners of the thirteen different categories were selected from over 4000 nominations. These were whittled down to three finalists which were judged on the results of a site visit from a member of the judging panel.
As the chair of the panel, I can tell you that many of the categories were the subject of intense debate; an indicator of not just how close the decision was but also of the terrifically high standards which all the finalists demonstrated.
A family-run business, The Barley Bree in Muthill won the Restaurant of the Year category after impressing the visiting judge with the skill of the chef patron Fabrice Bouteloup; his extensive and clever use of local produce and the warm welcome given to guests from Fabrice and his wife, Alison. This was a business in which the passion of the owners shone through.
Andrew Radford won the Chef of the Year category for the forward-thinking vision which he has shown over the last quarter of a century.
From his time on the Royal Scotsman train via the years spent running The Atrium and blue to his latest project, Timberyard, Andrew has consistently championed Scottish produce; encouraged new talent and sought to create restaurants which didn't follow convention but carved their own path instead.
Many of Andrew's ideas have come to fruition at Timberyard, the restaurant he opened with his family last summer. Featuring eye-catching design; a commitment to sustainability and inventive cooking from his son Ben, Timberyard, with Andrew at the helm, has rapidly become one of Scotland's most innovative restaurants.
The full list of winners is as follows:
SRA 2013 winners
Restaurant of the Year
Barley Bree at Muthill in Perthshire
Chef of the Year
Andrew Radford of Timberyard in Edinburgh
Best Italian Restaurant of the Year
North Berwick’s family-run Osteria delivers classic Italian dishes with an emphasis on seafood and has been among the finalists in this category before.
Best Indian Restaurant of the Year
The winner of this category last year, Mithas in Edinburgh’s Leith continues to change the perception of Indian restaurants in Scotland with its fine dining ethos.
Best Oriental Restaurant of the Year
Serving beautiful, contemporary, Japanese dishes, Aberdeen’s Yatai Izakaya won the Best Oriental Restaurant award at the very first Scottish Restaurant Awards in 2009 and has done it again this year.
Best Takeaway of the Year
Setting out to provide fast, natural food since opening in 2011, local provenance and seasonality have driven the success of Martha’s in Glasgow.
Best Family Friendly Restaurant of the Year
At The Waterside Bistro in Haddington, a secret toy cupboard; separate children’s menu and a selection of half-sized portions from the main menu keep both the adults and kids smiling.
Best Bar Food of the Year
An impressive drinks list; a stylishly reclaimed bar and a menu which would give many full service restaurants a run for their money have claimed the prize for Glasgow’s new Kelvingrove Cafe.
Best Rural Restaurant of the Year
Scotland’s beautiful, seasonal produce and the French cooking techniques of chef patron Fabrice Bouteloup make a very effective alliance at Barley Bree, a family-run restaurant with rooms in Muthill, Perthshire.
Best Seafood Restaurant of the Year
Opened in 2012, Glasgow’s Fish People Café gets the very best produce from it suppliers – the restaurant is owned by the fishmonger next door.
Urban Restaurant of the Year
Led by Head Chef Craig Sandle, The Pompadour by Galvin delivers classic, high end French cuisine and has breathed new life into the Pompadour, the famous restaurant at Edinburgh’s Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Sustainable Restaurant of the Year Award
The Mains of Scotstown Lounge and Bar in the Bridge of Don impressed with their strong sustainability credentials, local sourcing and engagement with suppliers as well as their involvement with the local community.
Best Use of Social Media
Hula Juice Bar in Edinburgh stood out for the natural way they used social media to update customers on new products and develop the inclusive identity and culture of the café.