Revamped Q Guild Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards return to Butchers’ Hall
The Q Guild Butchers product awards have been restyled as the Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards, with new product categories added and a welcome return to the ancestral home of the nation’s meat men and women – the fully refurbished Butchers’ Hall in London.
A total of 220 individual products have been entered from 29 Q Guild butchers across the country – Scotland, Wales, North, Midlands, South and South-West.
All are vying for the 15 Diamond Awards available, coupled with a brand-new star rating system introduced for the first time this year, with 3***, 2** or 1* awards replacing previous gold and silver honours.
All 3*** winners in each category will have a chance of winning a top-ranked Diamond Award for the best of the best, with one of them set to be crowned the overall Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards ‘Champion of Champions,’ among the highest accolade an independent Q Guild butcher can hope to achieve.
Product classes, some with an added new twist, are supplemented with several new categories for 2020, among them deli and artisan products, and fresh meat display, along with Q Guild Young Butcher of the Year – open to all aged under 24 and purposely designed to recognise and reward the UK’s up and coming talent who represent the very future of the industry sector.
Products will be judged blind at the Regional Food Academy at Harper Adams University in Newport by an independent panel of food and meat sector experts headed up by Institute of Meat chief executive, Keith Fisher.
Also adjudicating will be Denis Elliot, former Devro sausage casing expert and consultant, Viv Harvey, former MLC butcher, now industry consultant to the butchery trade, Steve Derrick, former Lucas Ingredients product development manager, Sue Woodall, past Ladies in Pigs chairwoman, Ralph Early, former Regional Food Academy Manager at Harper Adams University, now an independent food scientist, ethicist and writer, Annette Woolcock, Taste of Game development manager, along with Graham Palfrey, Mike Kennedy, Les Smith and Derek White, experienced industry judges who have either owned or worked in butchers shops.
Following their deliberations, all entrants will be eagerly awaiting the outcome and many are expected to be in attendance when the results are announced at the 2020 Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards lunch on their much anticipated return to Butchers Hall on the 24th March. They will be presented by Q Guild national chairman, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, butcher David Lishman, and category sponsors.
Butchers Q Guild general manager, Claire Holland, said: “The Smithfield Awards have been an integral part of the Q Guild calendar for more than three decades and remain one of the meat trades most prestigious and challenging product evaluations, recognising innovation and quality, helping to raise standards across the board and drive product development.
“Our decision to review, revamp and rename the awards with ‘all-star’ ratings has proved popular with Q Guild Butchers the length and breadth of the country, who all retain a passion to showcase their craft butchery skills by putting their products to the test under the strictest possible spotlight.
“We look forward to their presence at the awards ceremony. It’s all set to be a highly enjoyable occasion and, like me, I am sure they are all keen to view at first hand the many improvements that have been made at Butchers Hall. It’s just great to be going back home!”