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Mountain Cafe Aviemore - Outright winner 2017

Today we have the greatest of joy in announcing ,The Scottish Baking Awards 2017 outright winner as "The Mountain cafe" in Aviemore. This is the 2nd time that this Cafe in the cairngorms has won our outright category . I simply can't tell you how fabulous the cakes are here . There is a Cake for every ones  taste in their huge selection. I have been travelling all round Scotland for over 35 years now, and nearly 10 with the Scottish Baking Awards, and never have i come across such a huge selection of brilliantly executed baking than in this very unassuming Cafe in the Highlands . Every single Cake, biscuit, bread, scone or tart is absolutely brilliant. I simply can not fault the standard. It is a very busy Cafe so i am not alone in my thinking . The Cafe is the brainchild of New Zealand lady , Kirsten Gilmour and a more genuinely nice, hard working lady you could not wish to meet. Kirsten has gone from strength to strength since our first meeting back in 2013, with her Baking books and television and radio appearances. I would love to say that we had something to do with all this much deserved publicity and recognition, but i am sure it would have come to this great business lady in time . Seen pictured is The Mountain Cafes manager ,Claire recieving her Scottish Baking Award at the weekend. Congratulations to the very best Baking establishment in Scotland - The Mountain Cafe - Aviemore.

Where have all the great Desserts gone ??

This year Melanie Andrews MBE has set Scotland's High end Restaurants,Hotel's,Michelin star Rating ( Along with Bib Gourmand rating) a Challenge . For too long now the dessert course in restaurant's all over the country and the UK have been ignored as being the least important course in a Chef's itinerary. This has to end . Scotland has some of the best Chefs combined with excellent ingredients in the world , but what about the great desserts Chef's ? Melanie started the Scottish Baking Awards in 2009 when there was a need to separate real Artisan Bakers from massive industrial scale bakers . At that time every eating place was advertising " Homebaked Cakes " when indeed they were not , this changed rapidly with the Assessments by The Scottish Baking Awards and the subsequent regulation and Awarding system for real Handmade Baking. We now have some of the best Baking in the world we genuinely believe , and we also know where to find them because of The Scottish Baking Awards. Last year was the final straw for Melanie ( A complete Pro when it comes to Cake , Desserts and anything Handmade )

Melanie and long suffering husband David travel extensively all over the world but particularly Scotland and high end restaurant's where you would expect to find some of the best Desserts in the land . This sadly has not been the case and The Dessert course still appears to be something that is tagged on to the end of a great meal.

To this end ,We will now personally critique every single Michelin Star and  Bib Gourmand Restaurant in Scotland for the Dessert course  And obviously the (main event ) meal itself. We want to eradicate the terminology " The Main Event" as this also sends out the wrong signals re the Dessert course .

Our reviews will be on all our websites including www.melanieandrews.co.uk and sent to all the National newspaper , local media , Twitter, Facebook , Instagram , pinterest , Linkedin etc .

So lets see if "The Michelin Guide " really know their stuff ?

Michelin Uk welcome positive or negative feedback and can be contacted at the following email-

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New Years Honour List 2017

I am absolutely delighted to have been Awarded an MBE on the 2017 New Years Honours List . What a great start to the year and fantstic encouragement and support from our Monarch for enterprising , entrepeneurial , hard working ordinary folks like myself. Although the majority of us are just glad to be battling to make things better in our environment , its still a great honour to be recognised . This year at The Scottish Baking Awards we are hoping to put together a small committee of around 6 Professional people to drive forward what we really are , who we are and why we exist . We hope to put on a 2017 Star studded Award ceremony again this year and have a few great venues lined up already . In Scotland we have some of the best Artisan bakers i have ever met and we are continuing to find more and more every year in every corner of this small but brilliant country. Our Awards system is the only one of its kind in Scotland , Awarding , regulating and monitoring The Best Artisan bakers in the land. My belief is this and is simple - The best Bakers are the small, passionate , handcrafted bakers that are working away tirelessly behind the headlines and we are here to find them and promote them as best we can. This is a great Awards system for small independent business , Homebakers and even suppliers of Baking. If you would be interested in joining our small and professional commitee then please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and lets make this Country stand alone in the Baking Industry . See you all very soon as Assessments start at the end of January .

Ali Abercrombie @ Cairn o Mohr 2016 Outright winner

Ali AbercrombieI absolutely love this time of the year, not least for delivering the great news of another worthy winner in Scotland. Alison Abercrombie at AliBob in Errol was absolutely worthy of our 2016 Baker of the year .

The reason for this is the amount of work , sweat and tears that Alison puts in to making this quirky little Cafe in the middle of Cairn o Mhor winery a success. I first met Alison a few years ago and loved the passion and dedication that this unstoppable lady puts in to everything she does. The tears for me today she said, was because this Trophy was all about the Baking and nothing else, this is solely her domain , Her achievement .

Alison has a brilliant team at AliBob that makes this Cafe what it is today and Husband Bob takes the reigns front of house . When you see a family run business with family putting in the time then you just know you are in for a treat . Bob has a lovely manner with the customers and this rubs of on the staff . Alison can bake brilliantly and sadly i didnt get to try some of her famous cheese scones this time or any of the other goodies in the glass display cabinet but next time !!

This years decision was the hardest with 6 brilliantly talented finalists and such great support for each other even in the end. The world of Artisan baking is a great one to be involved in and i am honoured to be a part of some of Scotlands best Artisan bakers every year . Alison Abercrombie the most sincere congratulations from one that knows talent !

Our 6 2016 Finalists are announced

We are delighted to announce today that this years Finalists are as follows;

1. Cups Tearoom - Scrabster

2. Birsay Bay Tearoom - Orkney

3. Miss Daisy Gifts and Tearoom- Fife

4. Mountain Cafe - Aviemore

5. Goulding's Garden Centre - Lanark

6. AliBob @ Cairn O Mhor - Perth

The Finalist will be announced and visited on the 22nd October to recieve their Trophy .

Congratulations to all our Awardeess this year and all the best to our 6 Finalists. It is going to be a hard pick this year !!

Melanie Andrews Cook and Bake School

Aberdeen College Melanie Andrews is again offering" Free " Courses on Cookery and Bakery to children between the ages of 12 and 16 . These life skills are important to young adults and are sadly sometimes lacking in full time education. The courses are always in high demand and this February 2016 course, which lasts 6 weeks ,was booked out in under 24 hours. The courses are open to all children  whether they have a budget or not as Melanie donates her time and experience free of charge. The courses range from Basic skills to Advanced and come complete with a certificate at the end of the course. The courses are held within " Craigard Tearoom " and have become hugely popular with the younger budding Chefs , Bakers and Cooks. For more information or to book the next course contact Melanie on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

A great start to the new year 2016  for our founder - Melanie Andrews . She has just won the Scottish Category for the

www.cookbookfair.com

World Gourmand Cookbook Awards with her most recent Baking book - Baking with Melanie Andrews.

The next stage is now automatic and Melanie is now attending the World Cookbook Awards in Bejing this May 2016.  As a special celebration we are now selling this great edition of her book at half price on all our websites. - at www.scottishbakingawards.co.uk  www.craigard-tearoom.co.uk  www.melanieandrews.co.uk . Assessments for the 2016 Scottish Baking Awards begin on the 1st February 2016. Book now to be in with a chance of being this years outright winner.

Baking with Melanie Andrews

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