Inspirational young people sought for food and drink prize

Last year’s award winner was Timur Jay Ünal, the 20-year-old head chef at the Brodick Bar seen here with his trophy.

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Young people working in the food and drink industry on Arran are being encouraged to enter the fourth annual Inspirational Young Person Award.

The award is hosted by commercial insurer NFU Mutual and industry body Scotland Food and Drink which seek to highlight inspirational and talented people aged 16 to 26 who own, work, or study in the food and drink sector and who are successful in their field.

Last year’s winner of the award was Timur Jay Ünal, head chef at the Brodick Bar.

He said: ‘NFU Mutual’s Inspirational Young Person Award was a fantastic recognition to receive.

‘Hospitality during coronavirus has been almost impossible, but we have always strived to keep our high standards and winning this award was a boost not only for me but my family and the business.’

This year, in recognition of the challenges the industry has faced during the pandemic, the judging criteria will look to reward young people who have adapted their work in the industry to fit the ever-changing environment, contributing to the resilience of Scotland’s food and drink sector in the face of ongoing challenges.

Mark McBrearty, NFU Mutual’s regional manager in Scotland and one of the judges for the award, said: ‘The importance of young people to Scotland’s food and drink sector cannot be overstated. Last year’s entries illustrated just how wide a contribution they make, and how valuable their drive and innovation are to business success.

‘We saw flare in primary production, excellence in graphic and packaging design and exceptional examples of customer-facing services.

‘This award aims to celebrate this vital contribution, showcasing Scotland’s young food and drink talent and giving them some of the recognition they so thoroughly deserve.

‘The impacts of the pandemic continue to influence how Scotland’s food and drink sector does business, and this year’s judging will consider how young people have reacted and adapted to overcome challenges to the industry during the pandemic.’

James Withers, chief executive at Scotland Food and Drink, said: ‘Having talented and driven young people working and studying in the food and drink sector is absolutely crucial to our long-term success. We are delighted to be able to help acknowledge the inspiring young talent who own, work and study in food and drink with this award.

‘As our industry continues to face challenges it is important that we recognise those who have adapted to the world around them and shown resilience in the way they have worked through these times.’

Entries and nominations for the NFU Mutual and Scotland Food and Drink Inspirational Young Person Award can be made online at until July 21.

The first, second and third place winners will be announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, September 2-16, and will also be awarded cash prizes of £500, £300 and £200 respectively.