Highlands & Islands

Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards winners

Calman Trust trainee Denise Mclintock inside the cafe
Artysans was opened last year in Inverness by two local charities

A cafe opened in Inverness to provide work and training for 14 young people has won an honour in the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards.

Artysans was opened in December 2010 by Highlands-based charities Albyn Housing and the Calman Trust.

The cafe has won the awards' innovation prize.

Orkney Fishermen's Society took the Excellence Award and the Puffer Bar and Restaurant on Easdale, in Argyll, won the Best Use of Local Food and Drink.

Thurso's Reids of Caithness won the Distance No Object Award and best new product prize; the environment prize went to The Ethical Shellfish Company on Mull; Saladworx in Dornoch scooped the Healthier Food and Drink Award and the new business accolade went to Argyll Smokery in Dunoon.

The Summer Isles Hotel in Achiltibuie was named restaurant of the year.

Ian McWilliams, of the Keltic Seafare in Dingwall, and Lucy Midgley-Smith, of the Crannag Bistro in Bonar Bridge, were joint winners of the young ambassador prize.

Orkney Fishermen's Society also took the Partnerships for Success Award.

Artysans is being run as a precursor to what has been described as the UK's first social enterprise hotel.

The cafe offers opportunities to disadvantaged young people to train alongside professionals from the hospitality business.

It is an early model for a planned £16m, 120-room, four-star hotel which could be opened in the city in 2014.

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