Aubrey Allen takes top prize at Smithfield Awards

Award-winning butchers Aubrey Allen has added to its haul of trophies after taking the top title at the Q Guild’s 2013 Smithfield Awards.

The Leamington Spa-based business beat off competition from more than 360 other products submitted by Q Guild butchers from across the UK to take the top title with its Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.

The product, which was stuffed with black pudding and chorizo, and wrapped in Parma ham, was created by young butcher Cal Everett and also took the title for England’s best pork product. Simon Kelly, manager of Aubrey Allen, said: “I’m over the moon. I’m quite shocked actually. To get this title is like the Holy Grail.”
Awards were presented by celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli at a glittering ceremony in the Butchers Hall in Smithfield, London, last week.

Corry’s Butchers in Bramall, Stockport, run by husband and wife Neil and Janice Corry, was another Diamond Award winner with its Carpaccio of Beef, a marinaded fillet of beef, which also earned the accolade of England’s overall best beef product.
Scottish meat men bagged three top-ranking Diamond Awards, two of which fell to John Lawson Butchers in Uphall, West Lothian, with its Highland Blue Steak Burger and Steak and Wild Mushroom Pie, with the former also chosen as the best Scottish Beef product.
The third Scottish Diamond Award went to Fergusons Butchers of Airdrie for its Beef Chipolata, a hand-crafted traditional Scottish beef product made to the shop’s own recipe. Fergusons is also the reigning Scottish Beef Burger champion.

Bradwell Butchery in Bradwell, Great Yarmouth, run by Andrew Edmonds, also won a Diamond Award for its Free Range Beer & Black Treacle Bacon. The free-range pork used in Bradwell’s ‘best in Britain’ bacon comes from Saddleback pigs supplied by Pig Farmer of the Year Jimmy Butler from Suffolk.
The Sausage Diamond went to A Pearson & Son Family Butchers in Ashton-Under-Lyne with its Pork and Honey Glazed Parsnip Sausage. The shop’s Mark Pearson explained: “One of the lads that works for us took it upon himself to try something a little bit different – everyone makes sausages with leeks and chives and so on and we wanted something a bit unusual.”
South Staffordshire butcher Allan Bennett from Codsall, near Wolverhampton, celebrated after winning a Diamond Award for its Huntsman Pie.
In addition, a Gold Award winner, Lamb with Mint & Redcurrant Sausage, from George Payne Butchers in Brunton Park, Gosforth, Newcastle, went on to be chosen as the best English lamb product.
Another butcher, Dennis of Bexley from Dartford in Kent had the best Scottish Lamb product with its Gold Award-winning Easy Kleftico.
Q Guild national chairman Brindon Addy said: “Products were evaluated by an independent panel of expert judges and the fact that 170 of them, or 47% of the total entry, received either Diamond or Gold Awards speaks wonders for the quality of submissions and the emphasis our members continue to place on product innovation. Smithfield Awards remain among the meat industry’s most prized accolades.”
Jean-Christophe Novelli said after presenting the awards: “This is an industry I recognise very well and appreciate very much. It’s an industry that chefs respect very much. It’s also something I grew up with as a kid. When I was a little child, I was very fortunate in that my mother is the most amazing chef on the planet. My mum used to take me shopping with her and every time we went to the local butcher I was always fascinated.
“I always paid so much attention to watching them going to the fridge, cutting the meat. I learnt about the cuts of the meat. As a chef, this is very vital. It’s a massive priority in the foundation of cooking to be able to understand what it is you’re dealing with.
“It’s hard work to be a butcher – you have to be consistent and you need to believe in what you’re doing. This industry has been going through some hard times, but it’s managing to recover very well. It’s a job you can pass on to the next generation with pride.”