Two leading Edinburgh restaurateurs are in the running to be named Scotland`s first Chef of the Year.
Martin Wishart and the aptly-named Tom Kitchin are among three nominations for the title, one of 14 categories in the new Scottish Restaurant Awards.
Mr Wishart – who runs Restaurant Martin Wishart at The Shore in Leith and has worked alongside chefs such as Albert Roux and Marco Pierre White – has been described as "Scotland`s next big thing, no question" by none other than Gordon Ramsay.
He has recently opened a Cook School, aiming to give students a background in classic and modern culinary styles.
Mr Kitchin opened his restaurant, The Kitchin, at Leith`s waterfront in summer 2006 after starting his career at the Gleneagles Hotel and later working with top chefs, including Guy Savoy in Paris.
The two Edinburgh chefs are up against Andrew Fairlie, who runs his own contemporary restaurant within the Gleneagles Hotel.
And Edinburgh restaurants also feature in most of the other categories of the awards, which are sponsored by internet booking service 5pm.com
La Favorita in Leith Walk has been nominated for Scotland`s best Italian restaurant; Wok & Wine in Frederick Street is in the running to be named best Chinese; and the Cavalry Club in Coates Crescent and Roti in Morrison Street are competing to be the best Indian.
Thai restaurant Dusit in Thistle Street and Japanese restaurant Sushiya in Dalry Road are both nominated in the speciality category.
The Balmoral Hotel`s Number One restaurant is in the running for the "fine dining experience" award. Oloroso in Castle Street and Herbe Bistro on George IV Bridge are both on the shortlist for "best city restaurant".
Nominations for the best pub grub award include Kings Wark at The Shore and Hamilton`s Bar & Kitchen in Stockbridge.
Urban Angel in Hanover Street has been nominated for health conscious restaurant of the year. The Glasshouse at Eskmills, Musselburgh, is on the shortlist for best customer service.
The best hotel restaurant category includes Rhubarb at Edinburgh`s Prestonfield Hotel and The Grill at Dakota, near the Forth Road Bridge.
And Tigerlily in George Street has been nominated for the best restaurant design.
The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in the Edinburgh International Conference centre on January 28.
RESTAURANTS IN RUNNING TO BE TOP OF THE DINING TABLE
Chef Of The Year
• Martin Wishart, Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh
• Andrew Fairlie, Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Perthshire
• Tom Kitchin, The Kitchin, Edinburgh
• La Parmigiana, Glasgow
• Amarone, Glasgow
• La Favorita, Edinburgh
• Ho Wong, Glasgow
• Amber Regent, Glasgow
• Wok & Wine, Edinburgh
• Thai, Dusit, Edinburgh
• Seafood, The Seafood Restaurant, St Monans
• Japanese, Sushiya, Edinburgh
• Cavalry Club, Edinburgh
• Mother India, Glasgow
• Roti, Edinburgh
Fine Dining Experience
• Brian Maule at Chardon d`Or, Glasgow
• 29, Glasgow
• Number One, Edinburgh
Best Rural Restaurant
• The Three Chimneys, Skye
• Champany, Linlithgow, West Lothian
• The Peat Inn, Cupar, Fife
Best City Restaurant
• Herbe Bistro, Edinburgh
• The Sisters, Glasgow
• Oloroso, Edinburgh
Best Pub Grub
• Stravaigin Bar, Glasgow
• King`s Wark, Edinburgh
• Hamilton`s Bar & Kitchen, Edinburgh
Best Hotel Restaurant
• Michael Caines - Abode, Glasgow
• Rhubarb, Prestonfield, Edinburgh
• The Grill at Dakota, Edinburgh
Health Conscious Restaurant Of The Year
• Urban Angel, Edinburgh
• Alfie`s, Uddingston
• Grassroots Cafe, Glasgow
Best Family-Friendly Restaurant
• The Loft, Glasgow
• Di Maggios, Glasgow/various
• Howies, Aberdeen
Best Customer Service
• 2 Fat Ladies, Glasgow
• The Glasshouse at Eskmills, Musselburgh
• Silver Darling, Aberdeen
Best Restaurant Design
• Tigerlily, Edinburgh
• The Seafood Restaurant, St Andrews
• Corinthian, Glasgow