Innovation the key to Q Guild Smithfield Awards

Innovation the key to Q Guild Smithfield Awards

A glittering array of products, both tried and trusted, and some weird and wonderful new creations, have been entered for this year’s Smithfield Awards, the annual national product evaluation event contested by Guild butchers across the country.

The pies have it. Judith Johnston, from Lucas Ingredients, presents products for judging in the 2013 Smithfield Awards.

The pies have it. Judith Johnston, from Lucas Ingredients, presents products for judging in the 2013 Smithfield Awards.

Dubbed the ‘BAFTAs for Butchers,’ almost 400 products from 49 Q Guild members from Inverness down to Southampton, Cardiff across to Great Yarmouth, feature in 2013 showcase, for which there are seven product categories – sausages, burgers, pies, cooked meats, kitchen-ready and chipolata sausages.

The nationwide line-up includes products with a rich regional heritage, along with some highly innovative creations.

For example, there’s Free-Range Beer and Black Treacle Bacon from Norfolk and, from Wales, a Steak and Welsh Ale Pie, plus Welsh Pork Faggots.

North-east entries include Teriyaki Chicken Sausage and Santa’s Spicy Christmas Chipo, while from Scotland there’s Cock-a-Leekie Sausage, Highland Blue Steak Burger and a brace of inventive products – Ja Makin Me Crazy Burger and The Wee Beastie!

From Cheshire come a Dabba Dizzler, plus a Kofta Burger, while among the Lancashire entries is a Pork and Honey Glazed Parsnip Sausage and a Lancashire Pie. Over the border in Yorkshire, entries with an international flavour feature Chorizo and Black Pudding Sausage and Moroccan Lamb Burger.

Entries from the Midlands include a Beef and Oyster Pie and Marmalade Roast Ham, while London butchers are well represented, with offerings such as Hobbit Pie and The Organic Gourmet Burger.

South-east meat men have submitted products including Beef Truffles and Veal Cutlet with a Forest Fruit Pepper Crust, while among the south-west submissions are Gloucester Sausage and Corporal Jones Wartime Recipe Pork Sausage.

Product innovation is key to Q Guild members, who represent the cream of UK butchers. Smithfield Awards judging by panels of food and meat industry enthusiasts took place at the City of Glasgow College earlier last month (Oct) and awards will be announced and presented at the Butchers Hall in Smithfield, London, on Wednesday, November 20, by celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Gold and silver awards will be handed out in each class, with diamond awards going to individual product category winners, one of whom will emerge as the overall Smithfield Awards supreme champion.

Q Guild national chairman, West Yorkshire butcher Brindon Addy, said: “Our members remain staunchly proud of their traditions and, alongside tried and trusted ranges, are always looking to introduce new hand-crafted products to inspire their customers.

“Provenance is at the heart of everything we strive to achieve and all our members have a passion in sourcing their meat as locally as possible, both through partnerships with local farmers and via their local auction marts.

“We always seek to showcase the very best of Britain’s rich bounty, to educate both the young and not so young about where the food they eat comes from, how it is produced and the benefits of eating healthy sustainable locally produced food. In short, we demonstrate a total commitment to UK food, farming and the environment.”

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