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Highland Shortbread Showdown Finalists Revealed

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First Ever Highland Shortbread Showdown Grand Final at Inverness Cathedral on 25th March

Launched by Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN), the Highland Shortbread Showdown is a competition for tourism businesses across the Highlands to enter their version of the region’s favourite biscuit for the chance to be crowned the ultimate winner.

The shortlist consists of winners from each of the region’s Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), having been whittled down from 63 entrants.

The shortlist is:

Inverness and Loch Ness (Visit Inverness Loch Ness): Coul House HotelCabot HighlandsDownright Gabbler 

Moray (Visit Moray Speyside): The Bearded ChefTimeliness Fashion and BeautyStrathisla Distillery

Nairn (VisitNairn): The Highland WeighThe 1645 InnVitamin Sea Nairn

Skye & Lochalsh (Skye Connect): Mackenzie’s BakeryThe Haven Guest HouseAtholl House

Dornoch (Visit Dornoch): Heartseed House B&BRoyal Golf House DornochThe Carnegie Club

Caithness & Sutherland (Venture North): Castle & Gardens of MeyPark HotelThe Store Café 

Lochaber (Outdoor Capital of the UK): Ariundle Centre

Cairngorms (Visit Cairngorms): Speyside CentreApartment at Number 8 

Commenting on the shortlist, Michael Golding, CEO of VILN, said:

“In the Highlands we have some very high standards for shortbread so congratulations to everyone who has made it to the final of the Highland Shortbread Showdown!

“The final at Inverness Cathedral on 25th March is set to be a great day out for all the family so I’d welcome everyone to come along, get involved and see who is crowned Highland Shortbread Showdown Champion!”

The shortlisted shortbread biscuits will be judged by four well-known bakers from the Highlands – Kirsten Gilmour (KJ) from KJ’s Bothy Bakery (formerly the Mountain Café); Jeni Iannetta from Bad Girl Bakery; Craig Wilson aka The Kilted Chef; and Steven Traill from Rain Bakery.

The Highland Shortbread Showdown has some high profile support, with corporate sponsors Scotland Food & DrinkGrain and Grind, Walker’s Shortbread and Dean’s, as well as support from The Highland Council and Inverness Common Good Fund.

Kilted Chef Craig Wilson, owner of Eat on the Green restaurant in Udny Green, said:

“I am really looking forward to being part of the judging panel for the Highland Shortbread Showdown.

“Shortbread is one of my ultimate favourites, there is nothing better than the smell of shortbread baking in the oven and I’m excited to taste the different flavour combinations the finalists come up with.

“Whether it’s their Granny’s tried and tested shortbread recipe or a twist on the traditional, creativity, taste and appearance will be key and I wish everyone taking part lots of luck and most importantly, I hope they have fun.”

During the final, which is free for the public to attend, there will be live music from UHI students Ceara Campbell, Lola O’Dorel, Ailsa Black and ‘The Chosen Lonely’ aka Steven Barclay.

There will be live baking demonstrations for visitors to enjoy, plus a Highland business showcase, treasure hunt and shortbread designing.

Food and drink stalls will be available both inside the Cathedral, from Grain and GrindDog Falls BreweryGreat Glen Distillery, Heilan Brew, XOKO, Pure BakeryThe Chocolate Place, and outside the Cathedral, from the Highland Food and Drink Trail and Cafe Ness

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food, Scotland Food & Drink, added:

“The Highlands is an area rich with tourism businesses dedicated to enhancing visitor experience by sharing our country’s traditions.

“This competition to bring together some of Scotland’s most rural communities and hard-working talented individuals over a shared love of shortbread is an initiative we’re really excited to be supporting.”

A recipe book of all the shortbread recipes that entered the Highland Shortbread Showdown will be on sale at the final on 25th March to raise funds for Highland Hospice.

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