Next generation butchers shine in the north east

Next generation butchers shine in the north east

Judges at the BPEX North East roadshow had a daunting task when faced with an incredible 336 entries into the Pork Product Excellence Awards. From those entries it was the children of some of the regions award-winning butchers who really shone.

Lifting the prized Overall Champion title was Charlotte Atkinson from Elite Meat Ltd, with a ‘Caramelised Onion Pork Pâté’. Not only was this the first product Charlotte – who recently joined father Gordon in the business full time – learnt to make, it was also her competition debut.

The winning Harrogate champions of today and tomorrow!

The winning Harrogate champions of today and tomorrow!

Another young talent celebrating success was Luke Haigh of Bolster Moor Farm Shop. Luke came away with four category champion titles from the event at The Great Yorkshire Showground, including the ‘Young Sausage Maker’ crown. 16 year old and Emily Hofmann joined dad Nigel to claim the Speciality Pork Product title for Hofmanns ofWakefield, as well as gold for her Young Sausage Maker entry.

Elite Meats’ Gordon Atkinson said: “We’re absolutely over the moon. Not only was this Charlotte’s first accolade, the Overall Champion title is one that we’ve not previously won, so I’m a very proud dad indeed. Many of the butchers here have been friends and competition adversaries for many years, so to see our children carry on the award-winning ways is a real joy.

“The pâté idea came from a chef and supplier we’ve known for years. We’ve been tinkering with the recipe for months and Charlotte has now got it nailed. The higher natural fat content of the pork liver delivers a creamier taste and texture and as we source free-range local pigs, we can guarantee its origin.”

Luke Haigh, who works with dad Simon, struck gold with sausages, pork burger and pork pie. Luke said: “It’s a great result for all the hard work. We like to enter products into every category, which means the whole team is involved at some stage. The rewards are a real boost for them and our customers who like to know they are buying the best quality products.

“It was also a personal goal of mine to retain the Young Sausage Maker title, which has put me in the running for the Champion of Champions event in London.”

Nigel Hofmann, who has six shops in Yorkshire, said: “I’m thrilled for Emily as it was her first time entering the show. She came away with a gold award after scoring 99 out of 100 for her ‘Traditional Pork Sausage’ and also had a hand in developing the ‘Pork Casserole Pie’ which was Champion Speciality Pork Product on the night. She only works Saturdays and school holidays, so this is a fantastic achievement.”

Keith Fisher, BPEX butchery and product development manager said: “This year’s event was one of the most exciting to date, not only because of the record number of entries but also to see the next generation taking over the competition mantle from some of theregion’s most celebrated butchers. Long may it continue!”

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