Meet The Judges



The editor of Scottish Field for the past seven years and formerly Scotland on Sunday’s restaurant reviewer for more than a decade, Richard has a strong working knowledge of the rural economy, particularly its hospitality sector. A former judge of Taste of Grampian and The Thistle Awards, he is widely travelled throughout Scotland and is a keen country sportsman.



Countryside Alliance Director for Scotland, Jamie has worked within wildlife and land management sector for over 20 years. Developing and delivering significant projects under the Rural Development Programme both in Scotland and England, Jamie brings a broad knowledge on issues and challenges affecting rural enterprise. 



Alan Laidlaw is chief executive of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) – a registered charity with a remit to promote and protect the interests of rural Scotland.   Based at the RHASS’s headquarters at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Alan was appointed to the role in August 2016 after spending 11 years with the Crown Estate Scotland, latterly as Head of Property. He is a trained chartered surveyor, a director of the Oxford Farming Conference and an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies (ARAgS).



A hospitality consultant and Director of The Lodge at Perth Racecourse, Charlie was the project manager for Routes to Rural Employment, and now sits on the Board of Management at The University of the Highlands and Islands at Perth College.




Sarah is a freelance communications consultant, and has specialised in the food and drink sector for the past 10 years. With a strong background in PR and publishing, Sarah works with a wide range of food and drink clients, focusing on integrated marketing strategies and digital presence. 




Louise Gray is an environmental journalist and award-winning author. Her first book, The Ethical Carnivore, explores how meat is produced and consumed in the UK. Louise was environment correspondent for The Daily Telegraph for five years and has travelled widely investigating the impacts of climate change. She is particularly interested in food and how it influences the environment around us.