Guild Butchers reveal Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards finalists
The finalists for the Q Guild of Butchers’ Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards has been revealed, along with the new star-rating system which will see products awarded a 3, 2 or 1 star certificate.
Shortlisted butchers, some of which were shortlisted in multiple categories, will discover if they have won their respective awards on the 24th March when the ceremony takes place at the newly refurbished Butchers Hall.
The finalists will be judged against a brand-new star rating through which 3 star, 2 star or 1 star certificates will be awarded to products achieving a set standard, when the 3 stars are pitched against each other and re-judged for the top award in each category. The three products from each category will also be in with a chance of winning a ‘best of the best’ Diamond award.
The Q Guild Young Butcher of the Year Award, open to all aged under 24, was introduced this year to recognise and reward the industry’s rising talent. Nominations came from business owners or shop managers and the entrants must have developed a product which was sold in the shop themselves. Four stars of the future (pictured above) have been shortlisted for this award, among them two from Scotland, one each from Northumberland and Derbyshire.
Jordan Shaw from S Collins & Son Butchers in Muirhead, Glasgow, with Pork & Jalapeno Sausages
Jake Waugh from Thomas Johnston Butchers in Falkirk with Pork Podango
Robert Darling from Turnbull’s of Alnwick with Pork Wellington
Lennon Callister from Owen Taylor & Sons of Alfreton with Pheasant Stuffed with Black Pudding.
The products were judged blind at the Regional Food Academy at Harper Adams University in Newport by an independent panel of food and meat sector experts led by Institute of Meat chief executive, Keith Fisher.
Fisher said: “As a 30-year supporter of the Q Guild’s Smithfield Awards I was pleased to see this year how their continued product development has kept with the times. The range entered showcased they are producing products suitable for today’s consumers, bearing in mind lifestyles and tastes.
“Also, as a long-standing supporter of young butchers, it was great to see the new Young Butcher of the Year category and the skills these four young butchers showed highlighted why their managers felt they were worthy of entering this award.”
A total of 73 products achieved 3 star, 52 2 star and 44 1 star status, with a total of 220 individual products entered from 29 Q Guild butchers across the length and breadth of the country. The judges commented on the quality of the entries: “We felt the range and diversification of products was impressive, added to some brilliant craft butchery skills, which meant we had some tough decisions when it came to deciding which products should receive category awards.”
Q Guild general manager, Claire Holland, added: “The members did the Q Guild proud this year. The judges were treated to some outstanding products and many supported the new categories, which I hope to see grow year on year.”
Finalists from the other 14 categories are as follows:
- Thomas Johnston Butchers from Falkirk
- The House of Bruar, Blair Atholl, Pitlochrie
- S Collins & Son from Muirhead
- Fergusons of Airdrie
The Midlands is represented by a host of butchers, including:
- Owen Taylor & Sons, of Leabrooks, Alfreton
- Robinsons Butchers & Deli, of Tettenhall, Wolverhampton
- Aubrey Allen of Leamington Spa
- CN Wright from Codnor, Ripley
- Chase Farm Shop & Café from Roughley, Sutton Coldfield,
Cumbria and the North West features:
- Dales Traditional Butchers in Kirkby Lonsdale
- Cranstons Butcher + Maker, which has its headquarters in Penrith
- Higginsons of Grange
- JW Mettrick & Son, Glossop, co-owned by John Mettrick, the Q Guild’s national vice-chairman
Yorkshire and the North East is also well represented and among the finalists are:
- Lishman’s of Ilkley, owned by current Q Guild national chairman David Lishman
- Ellison’s Butchers in Cullingworth, Bradford
- Paul Binns Quality Meats, Shipley
- J Brindon Addy Butchers in Hade Edge, Holmfirth
- Nicholson’s Butchers, Whitley Bay
- Coates Butchers, Cochoe
From London and the South two long-standing member:
- James of Shepperton
- Buckwells of Southsea