Local businesses cook up a storm at Scottish Borders Taste Awards

Ross Horrocks, manager of The Caddy Mann restaurant near Jedburgh. The restaurant won Best Lunch at the Borders Taste Awards at Wedderburn Castle, Duns on Tues 25th Jan.
Ross Horrocks, manager of The Caddy Mann restaurant near Jedburgh. The restaurant won Best Lunch at the Borders Taste Awards at Wedderburn Castle, Duns on Tues 25th Jan.

Mounthooly-based restaurant The Caddy Mann has added to its growing number of accolades by scooping the ‘Best Borders Lunch’ at The Scottish Borders Taste Awards 2010.

The restaurant, jointly owned and run by Lynne and Ross Horrocks, has now received 14 separate awards since it opened 15 years ago.

Head chef Ross is clearly used to the idea of winning, but maintains that each and every award is special in its own right.

He said: “It’s always nice to get a winner and our customers like to see the awards displayed on the wall.”

The winners were announced last Tuesday evening at the Borders Banquet, held at the magnificent Wedderburn Castle near Duns. Around 30 Borders establishments participated, with awards available for ‘Best Breakfast’, ‘Best Lunch’ and ‘Best Dinner’.

Hosted by the Scottish Borders Food Network, the Banquet which took place on Burns’ night showcased the best food in the Borders, created using locally- sourced ingredients, as well as celebrating the strong cultural heritage in the Borders area. The event was an important part of EventScotland’s Winter Festival programme which celebrates Scotland’s modern culture and traditions.

Food Network chairperson Mrs Jo Sutherland said that she was, “absolutely delighted at the response to this new Borders-wide competition. It has proved to be a real success story.”

She went on to say that she hopes the success can be repeated in future years, establishing the Borders as a “world-class destination for outstanding food and drink”.

More than 100 guests were present at the awards, with the nine finalists joined by a host of producers, suppliers, ‘foodies’ and other Scottish Borders Food Network members. A piper led the guests through to dinner, where a four-course feast awaited them. The night also included a demonstration by renowned chef and Scottish Food Ambassador, Shirley Spear.

Mrs Spear, who runs The Three Chimneys on Skye, showed the ‘designated carver’ at each table how to get to grips with carving the Roast Gigot of Organic Lauderdale Lamb.

The Caddy Mann beat 10 other competitors in its section, picking up the award for its dish “Breast of Rutherford pheasant with chestnut and wild boar stuffing, glazed neeps’n’tatties, local haggis bon bons, and smoked bacon, with a sage soubise sauce and sautéed curly kale”. The accolade was not the only celebration for Ross and Lynn Horrocks, having recently been nominated for the Scottish Restaurant Awards.

The restaurant likes to pride itself on looking after its regular customers, as Ross pointed out, saying: “The key is to look after the regular customers, and it was through them that we were nominated for the national award.”

Ross has a long history in the restaurant business, having previously worked for five years at The Gleneagles Hotel and a further five at The Roxburghe Hotel, Kelso, before taking the Caddy Mann from a simple tea room to the revered restaurant that it is today.

Other winners included the Whitehouse Country House, St Boswells, for ‘Best Breakfast’, and the Allanton Inn, Allanton, for its Dinner dish.

All of the winning dishes were strictly made up of no less than 75 per cent locally-sourced produce, each of the winners being handsomely rewarded for their efforts with a cheque for £250 and a certificate to proudly display to their loyal customers.