Skip to main content

Shetland on the Menu

Press Release   •   May 26, 2016 13:42 BST

Marian Armitage will represent Scotland in the Local Cuisine category of The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

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.”

For more on the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting