One of the latest additions to the region’s culinary scene is looking to cement its reputation by winning a new restaurant award.
Lauder’s Firebrick Brasserie is one of only three restaurants on the shortlist for the prestigious CIS Excellence Restaurant Newcomer of the Year Award.
Firebrick Brasserie has already put the town on the culinary map, after being declared Best New Restaurant in The Borders for 2015, the brasserie was also listed in the 2016 edition of Peter Irvine’s Scotland The Best.
The restaurant has also been on the receiving end of sparkling reviews from customers and food critics alike, including a 10/10 from Joanna Blythman writing for the Sunday Herald.
That is high praise indeed from one of the country’s leading food writers, who does not usually award full marks lightly.
And all of this came within just eight months of its opening.
Chef-owners David Haetzman and Amanda Jordan say that they aim to inspire diners with their innovative menus and exciting use of local produce.
Around 70 percent of the ingredients used in the kitchens at Firebrick - named for a traditional kind of Italian pizza ovens - are sourced within a 20 mile radius of the restaurant.
The couple, who have lived in Lauder for many years, took the plunge and invested in their own place after working in high profile city restaurants including The Jam House, Blue and Kyloe.
“We had always wanted to have our own restaurant,” explained Amanda, earlier this week.
“It is a big commitment, of course, and not just financially.
“It is long hours and hard work - but we love it, it’s very rewarding. We really enjoy being able to share our enthusiasm for great food with our customers.”
The CIS award is designed to recognise innovation and excellence in the Scottish catering and hospitality industry, and is judged by a panel of industry experts.
The winners will be the establishment that best embodies CIS’ values.
Organisers say: “The Restaurant Newcomer of the Year Award winner will be a successful establishment, located in Scotland, which has most captured the imagination, attention and praise of the industry, public and media since launching within the previous three years.”
There are also CIS awards to be presented to individuals in the restaurant industry, as well as prizes for ‘business innovation’
The winner of the prize will be presented with their award at a ceremony on May 26, at the Glasgow Hilton.
Firebrick is the only restaurant from the Border region to be included, with the two other listed restaurants being the city based IX Restaurant at The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen and The Printing Press in Edinburgh.
“We are absolutely thrilled,” added David.
“The competition is tough, as there were lots of nominations this year and to be named as one of the top three new restaurants in the country is pretty amazing.
“The two restaurants that we are shortlisted with are both great establishments and it’s truly an honour to see Firebrick’s name appearing alongside them.”