The family run brasserie Unicorn Inn has the honour of being the 500th business to receive the Taste our Best accreditation having demonstrated their commitment to including and promoting Scottish food and drink on their menu.
Taste Our Best, a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government, with support from Scotland Food and Drink, aims to form stronger links between the places people visit and the food and drink experiences on offer.
As part of the scheme, restaurants, hotels, B&Bs, takeaways, cafes, visitor attractions and pubs or bars are assessed on not just the quality of their food and drink offering but also how they include and promote Scottish produce on their menus to give consumers choice.
Head Chef Brian Jones at the Unicorn Inn has worked hard to ensure that his food reflects the best of the country’s natural larder with dishes such as a haggis and tattie scone tower, Scottish smoked salmon with pickled beetroot and Scottish strawberry pavlova with fruit coulis. Brian said: “I’m very proud that I have been in this privileged position of being able to use the local produce from our Scottish suppliers, enabling me to achieve a “A Taste our Best” Award. As a small local, family run independent business being recognised by our peers and clientele is an inspiration and an honour. It really does make all our hard work, blood sweat and tears worthwhile. It’s not about just paying the bills, I want to spread the love of our national produce in a simple caring way, and help businesses in a similar way. It helps keep a strong sense of identity and pride in what we have on our doorstep.”
Promoting Scotland’s exceptional quality and diverse range of dining experiences will be one of the key focuses of the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015. The 12 month celebration is designed to build upon the momentum generated by previous focus years and develop the country’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Food Richard Lochhead said: “I am delighted to present the Unicorn Inn with the 500th Taste Our Best award. It is a major milestone for this innovative accreditation scheme, and a fantastic start to our Year of Food and Drink.
“Scotland is blessed with an outstanding natural larder, and we know that eating and drinking are hugely important to the experience of visitors who are often prepared to pay a premium for regional and traditional dishes. That is why I am keen to see as many businesses as possible commit to showcasing the amazing array of fresh, local produce we have on our doorstep as we continue our journey to Scotland becoming a Good Food Nation.”
Research has shown that visitors are willing to pay up to 15% more for food that is of Scottish or regional origin and businesses that provide local food can typically enjoy higher level sales of up to 20% per year. It’s estimated that Scotland’s food and drink tourism industry is worth £2.5 million per day to the economy with sampling traditional dishes and local produce among the top activity undertaken by visitors to Scotland.
Find out more about the Taste Our Best scheme on the VisitScotland website.
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