FINALISTS have been announced for the North East Food and Drink Awards following a record number of 48 applications.

The awards celebrate the best of food and drink in Moray and Aberdeenshire.

This year, 36 companies have been shortlisted to the final which will be judged by Paul McQuade of LIDL, Karen Ford of Brodie Countryfare, and Jason Robertson of National Trust. The awards, in partnership with Opportunity North East and Aberdeenshire Council, has seen winning businesses gain brand recognition and increased sales.

Paul McQuade said: “It’s great to see brilliant businesses flourishing across the North East. Congratulations to all that entered and to all the businesses who have made it to the finals.”