Cock crows as Michelin stars beaten to pub title

Company director Mandy Davidson with the certificate with manager Victoria Campbell holding the trophy.
Company director Mandy Davidson with the certificate with manager Victoria Campbell holding the trophy.

It was no cock and bull story as an Aberdeenshire pub beat off challenges from two of Scotland’s top Michelin Star chefs to win a coveted national title.

The Cock and Bull at Balmedie captured the Pub Excellence category in the Catering in Scotland (CIS) Excellence Awards, widely regarded as the most prestigious in the hospitality industry, ahead of finalists including Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack’s Scran & Scallie gastropub in Edinburgh.

Company director Mandy Davidson said: “It has been a fantastic year for The Cock and Bull. Head chef Ryan Paterson and his partner Victoria have brought a real energy and enthusiasm to our management team so I am delighted they have received the recognition they deserve after all their hard work.

“This is a great achievement and I couldn’t be happier for all our staff as it really is a team effort.”

The former coaching inn was described by the judges as “a quintessential gastro pub, a bustling hostelry, popular with locals and whose fame has spread. It offers great service, natural ambience and a lovely genuine warmth with superb food and a menu brimming with local produce.”

The CIS Excellence Awards, the main competition combining Scotland’s catering, hospitality and tourism industries, were presented at a gala dinner attended by more than 520 guests at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow.