Derbyshire butchers excel in Q Guild Smithfield Star Awards

Butchers across Derbyshire have clinched multiple honours in the Q Guild of Butchers 2020 Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards.

Owen Taylor & Sons Butchers in Leabrooks picked up not one, but two best of the best Diamond accolades.The Main Road shop struck double diamond with their Gluten-Free Sausage and home-made Pastrami in the Fresh from the Deli category, both of which had first picked up top-ranked 3*** ratings.

Carl Evans, Operations Manager of Owen Taylor & Sons, said: “Naturally, we’re over the moon to pick up two category-leading Diamond awards in the face of such strong competition from our fellow butchers nationwide. I dedicate these successes to our entire team.”

Among several new awards categories this year was the Young Butcher of the Year, open to all aged under 24 and introduced to both recognise and reward the industry’s rising stars. Part of the brief was that nominees must have developed a product sold in the shop and Owen Taylor’s Lennon Callister, aged 20, was shortlisted for a Diamond with his 3*** Stuffed Pheasant with black pudding and shallots.

For the first time this year, the revamped Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards had a brand-new star rating system through which 3***, 2** or 1* certificates were awarded to products achieving a set standard. Diamond awards are then achieved by pitching all the 3*** products against each other to find the ‘Category Champion’

From 220 individual products entered from 29 Q Guild butchers across the length and breadth of the country, a total of 73 achieved 3***, 52 2** and 44 1*, They were judged blind by an independent panel of food and meat sector experts headed up by Institute of Meat Chief Executive Keith Fisher

Butchers Q Guild General Manager Claire Holland said: “These awards are a great way of showcasing our members and their achievements. They work really hard to develop outstanding products and to keep up with consumer trends therefore to have it topped off with an industry judged accolade is the icing on the cake, for which they should be very proud.”