Edinburgh Restaurant Awards – and the winners are…

If you’ve followed foody social media this week, you might have noticed that the Edinburgh Restaurant Awards were announced on Monday night. Amy and I were there.

All the winners gathering for the final photo.

All the winners gathering for the final photo.

The awards are arranged by Edinburgh Evening News and is in its second year. The public is asked to submit suggestions on a variety of categories and then a panel of judges evaluates the nominations. This year, the panel included Gaby Soutar, Scott Smith, Victor Contini, David Livingstone and yours truly. The judging process was two-fold: we evaluated all the nominations to get a short-list and then met to discuss categories where there was no clear winner. It was a privilege to be part of judging panel and I was delighted to also be asked to present one of the awards.

Look! Name tag. (My name: easier to spell than to pronounce.)

Look! Name tag. (My name: easier to spell than to pronounce.)

I really enjoyed the evening but award ceremonies are funny events. Everyone wants to know whether they won their category and have to sit politely waiting, waiting, waiting. The winners were announced after drinks, speeches, dinner and entertainment. By then, everyone was on tenterhooks. There was a lot of energy in the room.

Amy and I were at one of the tables with easy access to the stage, with host Arlene Stuart and other presenters: Victor Contini, Sean Murphey, Laura and Miguel from Fhior, to mention a few. On the bus home, I checked for photos of the event and was oddly pleased to see the back of my head in a lot of them. Oh, vanity!

And the winners are

From the judging, I have a list of places to visit in the next few months, from cafés to restaurants or street food places that look intriguing. Watch this space! Meanwhile, here’s a list of this year’s categories and winners.

Best Café/deli

The Bearded Baker
46 Rodney Street

Best Seafood

The Fishmarket
23A Pier Place

Best customer Service

Pizzeria 1926
85 Dalry Road

Read our review.

Best Street Food

Ola Kala
202 Morrinson Street

Best Family Friendly

Akva
129 Fountainbridge

Best Value for Money

Wedgwood
267 Canongate

Read our review.

Best Vegetarian/vegan

David Bann
56-58 St Mary’s Street

Read our vegetarian round-up.

Chef of the Year

Paul Wedgewood

Sommelier of the Year

Stuart Skea at Fhior

Hidden Gem

Spitaki
133-135 East Claremont Street

Best Newcomer

The Little Chartroom
30 Albert Place

Best Pub Grub

The Bridge Inn
27 Baird Road, Ratho

Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year

21212
3 Royal Terrace

Read our review.

Restaurant of the Year

Fhior
36 Broughton Street

Read our review.

Rack of lamb and boulangere potatoes. I can't imagine what it's like to be in the kitchen, knowing you're cooking for 130 people, some of which are Edinburgh's very best and brightest chefs.

Rack of lamb and boulangere potatoes. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in the kitchen, knowing you’re cooking for 130 people, some of which are Edinburgh’s very best and brightest chefs.

See pictures from the night – I’ve learnt something about angles and photographers that I can apply the next time I’m having my photograph taken on a stage. Next time. Oh yes.

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

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