Derbyshire butchers shine in Q Guild Smithfield Awards
Butchers from Derbyshire have landed leading honours in the 2015 Butchers Q Guild Smithfield Awards, the annual product evaluation event, open to the Guild’s 110 members nationwide.
There was a maximum 100 out of 100 for CN Wright in Alfreton Road, Codnor, Ripley, which scooped a coveted diamond award with its Pork Pie, the best cold eating and bakery product and also Best English Pork product.
CN Wright bagged five gold awards in total, the others falling to its Pork Sausage, Pork & Sage Sausage, Pork & Apple with Caramelised Onion Sausage, and Stuffed Loin of Pork.
Arthur Wright, of CN Wright, said: “We’ve won the pork pie award before in 2011 so it’s nice to win again. It’s a different seasoning this time so it’s good that’s gone down well.
“We’re an old established butchers – we’ve been trading since 1888. I’m the fourth generation and my son is the fifth generation. Everybody’s been involved in the effort – all the staff. It’s great for everyone.”
All the pork used is free range or farm assured, and the seasoning for the pork and sage sausage is unique to CN Wright; around 60 years old, it is blended for the shop by Lucas Ingredients.
The Pork & Apple with Caramelised Apple and Onion Sausage was a new product, a team effort from members of staff, while the pork loin was stuffed with pork and caramelised apple and onion sausage meat.
Another Derbyshire Q Butcher, Owen Taylor & Sons, of Main Road Leabrooks, Alfreton, picked up five gold awards for its Best Pork Sausage, Country Special Sausage, Chilli and Sweet Red Onion Steak Burger, 1lb Chicken & Ham Pie, and Lamb Lollipops, a kitchen-ready product.
Lee Gould, Food Safety Manager at Owen Taylor & Sons, said: “Our Taylor Country Sausage is made with locally sourced farm assured pork, it is a long standing product and very popular sausage for both our retail and catering side of the business. It has a rounded pork, slightly peppery flavour with a hint of rosemary and sage.
“Our Best Pork Sausage is made from locally sourced farm assured pork. It is a long standing product that won Gold at the Smithfield Awards in 2014 sausage. It has dark herby flecks which has a distinct savoury herb aroma and flavour.
“The chilli and sweet red onion steak burgers are handmade in our retail shop using locally sourced farm assured beef. This burger is made from the finest chuck and brisket from the Long horn beef off of the Hardwick Estate. This product has a great flavour and texture.”
“The chicken and ham pie is a fairly new product developed by Owen Taylors. It has been added to our already successful line of pies and pastry products. The filling comprises of layers of home cured ham and chicken, lightly seasoned with black pepper and encased in a hot paste pastry.
“Our Lamb Lollipops are made from a boneless lamb loin stuffed with a mix of Moroccan seasoned mince lamb and held together with a skewer to represent a lollipop. This creative product has been developed by our retail staff to sell in our Owen Taylor shop.”
Owton’s Butchers in Southampton is the 2015 Butchers Q Guild Smithfield Awards supreme champion - the highest honour a Q Butcher can achieve - with its Dry Cured Green Streaky Bacon, which had earlier picked up a coveted diamond award as the best product in the bacon and cured products category. Marked a perfect 100 out of 100, it was also chosen as Best English Bacon product.
The Smithfield Awards, the 29th year they have been staged, were open to all Q Guild members UK-wide and this year attracted a record entry of 472 individual products across nine categories from 56 Q butchers – more than half the national membership - were submitted this year.
All were judged by independent panels of food and meat industry experts. The measure of quality was indicated when nine products received top-rated diamond awards, 221 products clinched gold - representing 51% of the total entry - while 113 silver and 72 bronze awards were also handed out.
Trophies and certificates were presented by Monica Galetti, one of the best-known female chefs in London and presenter and judge on BBC2’s MasterChef: The Professionals, at a ceremony at Ironmongers Hall, London. (Thurs, Nov 19)
She told the gathered butchers: “I would like to thank the Q Guild for having me as a guest here – what an honour. In the industry I’m in, I have a lot to do with you and what you do. What I’ve witnessed here is the passion and the drive for what you do. What you do is important for the future – to protect what you do.
“These awards attract the younger generation into the industry and that’s what we need. I believe we need to support you as restaurateurs. My restaurant will be open this time next year, touch wood – please, give me your business cards! I will be looking for butchers.”
She revealed that her restaurant will be on Charlotte Street, London, and named Mere after her mother.
Q Guild national chairman, Alnwick butcher Mark Turnbull, said: “The Smithfield Awards remain one of the most demanding and stringent product evaluation tests in the land and the esteem in which they are held is clearly demonstrated by the fact that this year has seen record entries from a record number of businesses.
“All products need to be at the very top of their game to stand a chance of success and nothing says ‘we’re the best’ like winning a Smithfield Award. They remain among the meat industry’s most esteemed accolades, not only motivating recipients to introduce even more successful products, but also providing ideas and inspiration to fellow Q Guild members across the nation.”
The 2015 Smithfield Awards were sponsored by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), which supports the English beef, lamb and pig meat sectors, Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, The Scobie & Junor Group, Comark A Fluke Co, Hawk Systems, MRC and Innovative Food Ingredients.