2024 Scottish Excellence Awards shortlist revealed


Establishments from Moray to the Borders and from Galloway to the Isle of Skye have been shortlisted in Scottish Excellence Awards


Finalists in the Chef of the Year category of the Scottish Excellence Awards include Scotland’s only female chef currently holding a Michelin Star, and two who were featured in the most recent BBC TV series, The Great British Menu (TGBM)

Robert Burns’ favourite ‘howff’,  The Globe Inn in Dumfries, is up against Kiliecrankie House Hotel in Perthshire for the title of Restaurant of the Year.

celentanos glasgow

Among contenders for Restaurant Newcomer are the Italian-inspired Celentano’s, and Edinburgh Street Food – a grouping of 10 independent traders in Leith Street, Edinburgh.

Borders finalists include the Gordon Arms in Yarrow for Sustainable Business.

Hassan Mohamud Mbirikany, Junior Assistant Manager at the Cairndale Hotel and Leisure Club in Dumfries, is among three finalists in the Employee of the Year category.

Fife is represented with finalists including the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, St Andrews making it to the shortlist of both the Employee Engagement & Retention Award, and the Banqueting & Events Chef category.

Jack 'O' Bryan's Dunfermline special tacos
Jack ‘O’ Bryan’s

Jack Coghill, of Jack O’Bryan’s Bar and Kitchen in Dunfermline, is in the running for Young Chef of the Year Award alongside Lewis MacDonald from Glasgow’s Cail Bruich, and Rachael Kelman of Orrin Restaurant and Bar in Elgin who now works at The Birnam Restaurant at Gleneagles, Perthshire.

In the Pub Excellence category, the Boar’s Head in Auchtermuchty and the Ship Inn at Elie are up against McLarens on the Corner in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield.

Awards’ Advisory Board Chair, Andrea Nicholas, co-founder and Managing Director of Green Tourism, commented: “Judges have had to wade through a remarkable top class list of entries from many of Scotland’s finest businesses in catering, hospitality and tourism, and selecting finalists has been tough. Choosing the winners will be even harder.”

Lorna McNee, head chef at Glasgow Michelin-Starred restaurant Cail Bruich is joined as a finalist in the Chef of the Year category by Darin Campbell of Cromlix House near Dunblane – owned by tennis star Andy Murray and his family – and Dean Parker, who set up Celentano’s with his Glasgow-born wife Anna after moving from London.

Other finalists for Chef of the Year are Kevin Dalgleish of Aberdeen’s Amuse Restaurant, and Calum Montgomery, both featured in this month’s BBC programme.

In 2023 Montgomery won the Scottish Excellence Awards’ Restaurant of the Year category for Edinbane Lodge on the Isle of Skye.

Killiecrankie House Hotel is run by chef Tom Tsappis and his partner Matilda Ruffle, who quit their jobs in finance and advertising in London to set up in an 1840s church minister’s house.

Duisdale House

In the Group Hotel category, the 240-room Caledonian Waldorf Astoria and 184-room Apex Waterloo, both on the edges of Princes Street in Edinburgh, are finalists, along with Anne Gracie Gunn’s 22-bedroom Duisdale House on the Isle of Skye – winner in 2018 and Highly Commended last year. Her Sonas Hotel Collection is also shortlisted in the Wellbeing in Hospitality category.

The Awards take place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh on Thursday 21st March. For the full shortlist, visit www.scottishexcellenceawards.com.




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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