Q Guild Butchers reveal Smithfield Star Awards finalists
All products achieving 3* are further pitched against each other and re-judged for the top award in each category. The judges had a hard task of deciding which products to put forward, but they had to choose and three products from each category are now in with a chance of clinching a ‘best of the best’ Diamond award.
Shortlisted butchers, some of which were shortlisted in multiple categories, have until March 24 to learn which of their products has made the grade when the Smithfield ‘Star Awards’ will be presented on the Q Guild’s much anticipated return to the refurbished Butchers Hall in London.
The event will also crown the overall Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards ‘Champion of Champions,’ which is amongst the highest accolade an independent Q Guild butcher can hope to attain.
Q Guild Young Butcher of the Year, open to all aged under 24, was introduced this year to both recognise and reward the industry’s rising talent. Nominations came from business owners or shop managers and the entrants must have themselves developed a product which was sold in the shop. Four stars of the future 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.
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 Coxhoe
From London and the South two long-standing members;
• James of Shepperton
• Buckwells of Southsea
And finally, flying the Welsh flag is Martin Player High Class Butcher from Whitchurch, Cardiff.
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.
Keith 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*, 52 2* and 44 1*, with a total of 220 individual products entered from 29 Q Guild butchers across the length and breadth of the country. Judges were impressed by the quality of the overall entry. They commented:” 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.”
Smithfield ‘Star Awards’ sponsors are Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, Innovative Food Ingredients, British Charcuterie Live, Weddel Swift, Verstegen, Taste of Game, Scobie & Junor and Institute of Meat.
For further press info, contact Robin Moule, Moule Media, on 07976 5559961, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q Guild General Manager Claire Holland can be contacted on 07918 762254, email email@example.com