Young butchers take accolades at pork awards

Over 330 entries were submitted to the BPEX North East roadshow’s Pork Product Excellence Awards with young butchers taking home many of the top prizes.

Charlotte Atkinson from Elite Meat won the Overall Champion title with a Caramelised Onion Pork Pâté. She is the daughter of Elite Meats’ Gordon Atkinson, who commented: “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.”

He added: “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 entries were judged on overall appearance, size and colour, ease of cutting, texture and structure and, most importantly, taste and smell.

Luke Haigh of Bolster Moor Farm Shop came away with four category champion titles, including the ‘Young Sausage Maker’ crown.

Commenting on his success, Haigh 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.

BPEX butchery and product development manager, Keith Fisher, stated: “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 the region’s most celebrated butchers. Long may it continue.”