Pie maker celebrates success

One of the country’s oldest pie makers has strengthened its reputation after taking the top title in the British Pie Awards yesterday (25 April).

Wellingborough-based Dunkleys took the Supreme Champion title with its Pub Pie entry, a chicken, ham, mushroom and buttered leeks pie, cased in suet pastry.

The awards, held at St Mary’s Church in Melton Mowbray, aims to celebrate and encourage the production of top quality pies right the way across the UK and attracted more than 900 entries..

The pies, submitted across 18 Classes, underwent a stringent judging process by 93 food experts and celebrity chefs led by Andrew Chisholm. The panel, which included top food critic Charles Campion and food writer Xanthe Clay, TV chefs Rachel Green and Phil Vickery, scored the pies on a range of criteria including appearance, and texture and  taste of both pastry and filling.

Mark Beeston, from Dunkleys, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that our Pub Pie has been crowned the Supreme Champion at these highly prestigious and creditable awards. We don’t compromise on the quality of the pies which we have been making with care and passion for sixty years and to win against so many excellent bakers is an absolute joy.”

Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, added: “Pies are one of our nation’s favourite traditional foods and we organise this event to celebrate the quality and heritage of these iconic products. This year’s event was a resounding success and yet again we were impressed with the high quality of the Pies entered by passionate pie makers.

“Our judges, who faced the difficult task of choosing the winning pie out of 900 entries, did a superb job. It is fantastic to see that the value of these Awards is recognised not only by large pie makers but also by small producers who submitted over 70% of entries.”

Meanwhile, two butchers gave a good account of themselves in the competition, with Robert Bowning, a farmer and butcher, taking the title of Lamb Pie, and Stuart Smith & Sons Butchers, taking the Savoury Pie category with a chicken and ham hock pie. The full list of winners were:

Class 1 - Melton Mowbray Pork Pie (cold) Winner: Walker & Son with their Large Melton Mowbray Pork Pie
Class 2 - Pork Pie (cold) Winner: Walker & Son with their Large Pork Pie
Class 3 - Steak & Kidney Pie (hot) Winner: Pieminister
Class 4 - Beef & any flavour combination (hot) Winner: Rose Cottages Pies with their Beef & Mushroom Pie
Class 5 - Beef & Ale Pie (hot) Winner: Brocklebys
Class 6 - Lamb Pie (Hot) Winner: lamb, Mint & Rosemary Pie Winner: Robert Bowning Farmer & Butcher
Class 7 - Chicken & any flavour (hot) Winner: Chicken & Bacon from Pieminister
Class 8 - Other meat pie (hot) Winner: Pork, Apple & Cider Pie from Morecambe FC
Class 9 - Savoury pie (cold) Winner: chicken & Ham hock pie from Stuart Smith & Sons Butchers
Class 10 - Fish pie (hot) Winner: smoked fish, salmon & prawn pie Great Walshingham Barns Cafe
Class 11 - Vegetarian Pie (hot) Winner: Butter Pie from Morecambe FC
Class 12 - Cornish Pasty (cold) Winner: Chough Bakery
Class 13 - Other pasty (cold) Winner: chicken & smoked bacon pasty from Chough Bakery
Class 14 - Dessert Pie (cold) Winner: Cherry Pie from Kensey Foods
Class 15 - Pub Pie (hot) Winner: chicken ham mushroom buttered leeks suet pastry pie from Dunkleys
Class 16 - Football Pie (hot) Winner: Beef steak & ale pie from Morecambe FC
Class 17 - Celebration Pie (hot/cold) Winner: Trio of mini pies (venison pie, chicken & mushroom pie & steak pasty from Dunkleys
Class 18 - Bramley Apple Pie (cold) Winner: Kensy Foods