Tom Parker Bowles to present Q Guild’s 2017 Smithfield Awards.
Internationally-acclaimed British food writer and food critic Tom Parker Bowles will present the 2017 Butchers Q Guild Smithfield Awards, as the prestigious annual showcase, widely regarded as one of the meat trade sector`s most high profile and challenging product evaluation events, returns for its 30th year in an enhanced format.
`It`s a fantastic signing for the Q Guild,` said national chairman, Alnwick butcher Mark Turnbull.
Parker Bowles, the son of Prince Charles` wife Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles, is the author of five cookbooks and a past winner of the Guild of Food Writers` award for his writings on British food.
He is well-known for his appearances as a judge in numerous television food series and for his restaurant meal reviews around the UK and overseas for national press and magazines. He has also written the first-ever cook book for Fortnum & Mason, which will be launched this October.
Although the Smithfield Awards presentation will not be held until early next year, entry forms have already gone out to the Q Guild`s 118 independent butcher members UK-wide.
The deadline for entries from all eight Q Guild regions is September 23, with judging again taking place at the City of Glasgow College, the leading provider of education, training and research for the Scottish culinary industry, on October 19 and 20. All products are judged blind by independent panels of international food and meat industry experts.
Awards categories have been boosted to ten in total this year with the addition of a brand-new Gluten Free Products class. The other hardy annuals are Traditional Pork Sausages, Speciality Sausages, Burgers, Ready to Eat Meat & Roasts, Bacon & Cured Products, Pies & Bakery – Hot, Pies & Bakery – Cold, Kitchen Ready Products, and Ready Meals.
Gold and Silver Smithfield Award certificates will be awarded in each category. From all Gold award winners across each participating region, judges will decide on the national finalists for each product category, who then have an opportunity to win a coveted diamond award presented to individual category champions.
One of them will then emerge as the overall Smithfield Awards supreme champion – the star-studded accolade all Q Guild butchers want to win.
There will also be prizes for the best Beef and Lamb products from English, Welsh and Scottish origin, and the best Pork product overall.
Winners will be announced at the awards presentation in Ironmongers Hall, London, on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.
Mark Turnbull explained: `We have responded to members` comments about the promotional longevity of the Smithfield Awards and decided to make the presentations early in the year rather than at the end. This will allow winners to promote their products for a full 11 months within the current year of the awards.
`The Q Guild`s Smithfield Awards remain a highly respected and recognised product evaluation. Nothing says `we`re the best` like winning a Smithfield Award.
`As former winners readily testify, picking up a Smithfield Award is also a powerful marketing tool, with many using the awards on their tickets, packaging, flyers, websites and in local and national press, along with outdoor advertising.
`Entrants also claim that the judges` feedback is invaluable in helping them enhance products and launch even more successful ones.
`Last year`s Smithfield Awards attracted a record entry of 472 individual products from 56 Q Butchers – more than half the national membership – and we`re hoping to do even better this time around, such is their growing popularity.`
He added: `Running these awards is only possible thanks to the support we receive from other organisations and we`re delighted to be working once again with our valued sponsors.`
Smithfield Awards sponsors have also increased in number. They are the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) – both its Beef & Lamb and Pork divisions – Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, The Scobie & Junor Group, Comark, The Dalesman Group, TruNet Packaging Services, Innovative Food Ingredients, MRC, Scotch Beef & Lamb, and Hybu Cig Cymru Meat Promotion Wales.
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The Q Guild has its headquarters at 8-10 Needless Road, Perth, PH2 0JW. Contact Gordon Newlands on 07918762254, email Gordon@qguild.co.uk or visit www.qguild.co.uk