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Published on : Friday, May 27, 2016
A Shetland writer and food champion whose cookbook celebrates local cuisine is taking her love of Scotland’s natural larder to the foodie ‘Oscars’ in China.
Marian Armitage will represent Scotland in the Local Cuisine category of The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards after her book, Shetland Food and Cooking, was named Best in Scotland and shortlisted as one of the 13 finalists.
The Gourmand World Awards will take place in Yantai, China, from 28-31 May 2016 where Marian will take part in a presentation on Shetland, with images of the islands displayed to hundreds of attendees and the world’s media.
VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation, hopes her appearance will inspire visitors to make the journey to Scotland.
Founded in 1995, the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards celebrate food and drink writers from across the world with 209 countries participating this year.
Food and drink is an important part of the visitor experience. Scotland generates more than £2.5 million per day through food and drink tourism, while the latest Scotland Visitor Survey 2015 found that more than half of visitors (56%) try local cuisine on their trip.
Born and bred in Shetland, Marian is a food expert having previously been a teacher of food and nutrition in schools for 35 years and is now the chairwoman of the newly formed Shetland Food and Drink Association.
Marian Armitage, writer of Shetland Food and Cooking, said:
“It is a great honour to be nominated for this award. I am very proud to be a Shetlander and to have this opportunity to show the beauty and characteristics of the Shetland Islands to the wide audience that will be present for the weekend’s celebrations.
“Shetland Food and Drink is undergoing a renaissance as more and more people are interested in source and provenance. We have the very best fish of all kinds, delicious lamb, beef and pork, island milk and dairy produce and an ever-increasing range of fruit and vegetables through the use of polycrubs, while our home baking is legendary.
“I look forward to meeting representatives from many countries and learning about their food as well as sharing the passion I have for mine.”
Steve Mathieson, Island Manager at VisitScotland, said:
“We are delighted that Marian will be flying the flag for Scotland and the distinctive cuisine of Shetland at these prestigious awards. Food and drink is a recipe for success in Scottish tourism and integral to the visitor experience. Shetland is playing its part with its amazing natural larder, more establishments such as Scalloway Hotel, Hay’s Dock and Frankie’s being recognised for the excellence of their cuisine and more high quality products, from smoked salmon, chutney and fudge, to Shetland ale, whisky and gin, entering the marketplace.
“Last year, more than a million people attended events to celebrate Scotland’s food offering in the Year of Food and Drink 2015 which helped raise the profile of our quality produce on the world stage. We wish Marian well at the awards and hope her appearance will inspire others to make the journey to taste Scotland for themselves.”