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Capital coup as HG Walter is crowned supreme champion on Q Guild Smithfield Awards debut

  • Capital coup as HG Walter is crowned supreme champion on Q Guild Smithfield Awards debut

Entry numbers and gold award wins hit all-time record high

HG Walter Butchers, based at Barons Court in the London Borough of Hammersmith, has been crowned the 2017 Butchers Q Guild Smithfield Awards supreme champion – giving the shop the ultimate bragging rights for an entire year!

 This glowing accolade represents the pinnacle of achievement in a high profile event that is regarded as one of the toughest product evaluation tests in the land, held aloft as the Q Guild`s annual `Oscars.`

 HG Walter`s Palliser Road shop in West Kensington had first clinched a diamond award in the Kitchen Ready Products category with its Bourbon Glazed Dexter Beef Short Ribs, which achieved a perfect 100 marks, before being handed the coveted supreme championship, the highest honour a Q Guild Butcher can accomplish. It was also chosen as the Best Beef England product.

 It was the first time HG Walter had even entered the awards and brothers Adam and Daniel Heanen were delighted.

 Adam said: `It`s awesome. We`re very happy. It`s been a team effort. We`ve never entered the Smithfield Awards before, this was our first time, but it certainly won`t be our last.`

Daniel added: `It`s nice when you put a lot of hard work in and you see that pay off. It`s all down to our fantastic staff. This is a family business and we`re full of people who are passionate about food and make it one big family, we all love what we do.`

Adam developed the recipe and explained: `It`s a bourbon glazed rib, with maple syrup, cumin and paprika – we put the rub on it and leave it overnight, then we water bath it for four hours and finish it off by roasting it at a high temperature.`

The independent, family-run business was set up in 1972 and now supplies over thirty Michelin Star restaurants – they are the go-to butcher for many of London`s chefs, food writers and critics, including the acclaimed British food writer and food critic Tom Parker Bowles, who presented them with their Smithfield Awards.

 HG Walter scooped five gold awards in total, others going to its high scoring Honey Roast Ham, Scotch Eggs, Scotch Quail Eggs, and Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Anchovy and Balsamic, another Kitchen Ready Product.

Open to the Q Guild`s 123 members nationwide, the 2017 Smithfield Awards attracted a record entry of almost 600 individual products, a major increase on the previous year, from 61 butcher businesses from the Scottish Highlands down to the south coast.

A total of 267 gold awards winners emerged this year across the Q Guild`s eight regions – this, too, was a new record high. Judged blind by independent panels of international food and meat industry experts, products were then shortlisted for the national final in each of the ten product categories.

Winners, including best in category diamond awards, were announced at a ceremony in Ironmongers Hall, London, when the awards were presented by Mr Parker Bowles. (Wed, Feb 1)

 Awards categories were boosted this year with the addition of a brand-new gluten free products class, when the inaugural diamond award winner was Robinsons Butchers & Delicatessen in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, with its Lamb Tagine.

The High Street shop picked up seven golds in total, the others falling to its Traditional Pork Sausage, Pork & Black Sausage, Pork with Caramelised Onion Sausage, Robinsons Dry Cured Back Bacon, Beef with Red Wine & Mushroom Pie, and Pork Pie.

The diamond award winner in the burgers class came from Scotland. Patricks of Camelon in Falkirk lifted the title with its Lamb & Mint Burger.

Patricks` Main Street shop struck nine golds in total, the vast majority with lamb-based products. The others were Lamb & Mint Sausages, Lamb & Rosemary Sausages, Lamb Burgers, Lamb & Steak Round Pie, Lamb Meatballs, Lamb Curry, Lamb Pinwheel, and Haggis Pinwheel.

Another Scottish Q Guild butcher to receive a coveted diamond accolade was Davidsons Specialist Butchers, of Inverurie, with its Dry-Cured Treacle Bacon, overall winner of the Bacon & Cured Products category, which received maximum marks.

Davidsons also picked up a special Innovation Award for its Chicken Delish, with both figuring among a nine-strong gold awards strike by the Burn Lane shop.

The others were The Bennachie Haggis, another Davidsons` product to receive a perfect 100 out of 100 marks, The Ultimate Cheeseburger, Steak Burger, Steak & Gravy Pie, Deluxe Pancetta, Special Herb Cured Bacon, and The Bennachie Black Pudding.

At the other end of the country, south coast butcher, Buckwells of Southsea, clinched a best in class diamond award in the speciality sausage category with its Winter Glow Sausage.

Buckwells` Osborne Road shop also came away with a nine-strong gold awards windfall, winning others with its Southsea Breakfast Sausage, Black Eye Lorne Speciality Sausage – this scored maximum marks - 6oz Burger, Scotch Eggs, Pork Pie, Chicken Kiev Kitchen Ready Product, along with a brace of Ready Meals - Old Fashion Faggots and Cheesy Mash Shepherds Pie.

Another Lamb Tagine product from a second Q Guild butcher in the Midlands region, Meridian Meats, in Louth, Lincolnshire, also netted a diamond award, this time in the Ready Meals category. The Eastgate shop struck four golds in total, the others being awarded to its Traditional Steak Pie and two more Ready Meals - Cassoulet and Normandy Pork.

There was a another diamond coup in the Q Guild`s north-east region for Blackwell`s Butchers in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, with the High Street shop`s Turkey & Ham Pie, the standout performer in the Cold Pies & Bakery category and the second time the product has clinched a Smithfield diamond.

The best in class winner was among five golds claimed by Blackwell`s, with others awarded to its Sweet Chilli Jam Burger, Home Cured Black Treacle Pork, and Lamb & Leek Pie, a dual gold award winner in both the hot and cold pies and bakery awards categories.

Another diamond award winner in the north-east was Lishman`s Butchers in Ilkley with its Marmalade Glazed Ham, the Ready to Eat Meat & Roasts category champion, which was awarded maximum marks by the judges.

It figured in an eight-strong gold awards coup for the Leeds Road shop. The others were Lishman`s Thick Pork Sausage, Smoked Streaky Bacon, Chicken Balti Chef`s Pie, Traditional Pork Pie, and three gluten-free products - Yorkshire Coppa, Smoked Salami, and Beef & Red Wine Pepperoni.

From the Midlands region, Derbyshire`s JW Mettrick & Son Butchers in Glossop sizzled to success when clinching a best in class diamond award with its Traditional Pork Sausage. The High Street West business picked up five gold awards in total, including a perfect 100 marks for its Black Eyed Smoked Bacon. The others fell to Piri Piri Pork Sausage, Smokey Brisket Burger and Large Pork Pie.

From Cambridgeshire in the Guild`s east region, the Huntingdon shop of Walter Smith Fine Foods, which has multiple Q Guild member outlets, celebrated with a diamond award win in the Hot Pies & Bakery category with The Wyton Wonder Pie, also chosen as the Best English Pork product.

This shop is based at Wyevale Garden Centre in Wyton and went on to pick up three further golds with a brace of speciality sausages - St Ives Sizzler and The Huntingdon Hog, along with Higgledy Piggledy Pie.

OTHER NATIONAL AWARDS

There was success for Wales and the Cardiff area when Martin Player High Class Butchers returned home with a high profile double when receiving special awards for both the Best Welsh Beef and Lamb products.

The Park Road, Whitchurch, shop clinched the former with its Euro Burger, another product to receive maximum marks, the latter with its Greek-style Lamb Roast, a Kitchen Ready Product. Both won gold awards.

Martin Player notched up nine golds in total. The others were Dry Cured Back Bacon, another product to receive a perfect 100 marks, Traditional Pork Sausage, Pork & Leek Sausage, Dry Cured Back Bacon with Black Treacle, Ox Cheek Stout & Mushroom Pie, and two further Kitchen Ready Products, Chicken Valencias, and Meatballs in Brazilian Pepper Sauce.

Surrey Q butcher, James of Shepperton, also netted nine golds, among them the Best Beef Scotland product with its Steak Burgundy, a Kitchen Ready Product.

The High Street shop also struck gold with its Cumberlally Speciality Sausage, which was awarded maximum marks, Steak & Kidney Pie, Shepperton Pasty, and a further five Kitchen Ready Products – Lamb Rump, Beef Wellington, Stuffed Saddle of Lamb, Beef Truffle and Chilli Bomb.

 The Best English Bacon product accolade fell to North Yorkshire Q Guild butcher Elite Meat, based in Starbeck, near Harrogate, with its Smoked Streaky Bacon. The High Street shop also picked up a further brace of gold awards for its Pork Sausage and Roast Smoked Ham.

A special award for the Best Lamb Scotland product remained north of the border when falling to John Lawson Butchers in Uphall, West Lothian, with its Herb Marinated Rack of Lamb, a Kitchen Ready offering. The East Main Street shop bagged four golds in total, the others going to its Breakfast Marmalade Beef Sausage, Steak & Sausage Pie, and 28-Day Matured Dry Aged Sirloin Steak.

Tom Parker Bowles told the butchers: "A town or city without a proper butcher is town without a heart. But all of you here today are masters of meat, heroes of the haunch, legends of the lamb chop and you don`t do this for the prospect of a quick and easy buck.

"I know exactly how hard you all work, the long, gruelling, often freezing cold hours. The sawing, the cutting, the slicing, the lugging around of great carcasses, the constant attention to perfect hygiene, the sheer physical hard graft, the depth of knowledge and years of pure experience necessary which becomes the very essence of carnivorous good taste.

"Now this might not be or seem like a glamorous job, but we love you for it. What would we do without you? Great butchers are no mere make or trade. it is a part, a passion, a labour of love. It is a community hub and a place, of course, where lots of good gossip can be shared and spread as well.`

Q Guild national chairman, Alnwick butcher Mark Turnbull, said: `The record response this year was absolutely amazing and reinforced the Guild`s decision to change the Smithfield Awards format and make the awards early in the year. This year`s presentation event also attracted a record attendance.

`The new format allows all winners to promote their products and their businesses for a full 11 months within the current year of the awards, which - supported by special promotional packs presented to all gold award winners - will, we feel, prove an extremely potent and effective marketing tool.

`In addition, many entrants also tell us that the judges` feedback proves invaluable in helping them not only to enhance their own Smithfield Award products, but also develop and launch even more successful ones after networking and sharing ideas with other members, which remains key to the Q Guild`s ethos.`

OTHER GOLD AWARD WINNERS BY REGION

Other gold awards winners and their products from Q Guild regions were:

SCOTLAND

Thomas Johnston Quality Butchers, Cow Wynd, Falkirk, West Lothian – Steak Burger, Lamb Roast in Mint Marinade, Gluten Free Black Pudding, Gluten Free Haggis.

Fergusons of Airdrie Butchers, Buchanan Street, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire – Scottish Steak Burger, Scottish Steak Pie.

S Collins & Son Butchers, Lindsaybeg Road, Muirhead, Glasgow – Chicken Burger, maximum marks, Traditional Pork Links, Gluten Free Black Pudding.

The House of Bruar Butchers,  Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, Perthshire – Beef Link Sausages, Honey Roast Pork Sausages, Pork & Caramelised Onion Sausages, Pork & Leek Sausages, Steak Pie.

 NORTH EAST

McMurchie Meats, Caroline Street, Hetton-le-Hole, Tyne & Wear – Italian Style Meatballs, awarded maximum marks, Roast Pepper & Garlic Sausage, Peppered Steak Bake, Stuffed Sirloin Bomb Kitchen Ready Product, Chorizo Tower Kitchen Ready Product.

Nicholsons Butchers, Park View, Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear – Mexican Chicken Kitchen Ready Product

Ellisons Butchers, Halifax Road, Cullingworth, West Yorkshire -  Thick Pork Sausage, awarded maximum marks, Thin Pork Sausage, Traditional Gluten Free Thick Pork Sausage, Brisket Burger,  8oz Beef & Wild Mushroom Burger, Dry Cured Back Bacon.

Coates Butchers, Church Street, Coxhoe, Durham – Low Fat Steak & Onion Burger, Lincolnshire Sausage.

Turnbulls Butchers, Market Street, Alnwick, Northumberland – Pork & Mango Sausage, Red Onion and Sage Sausage Roll, Naked Kiev Kitchen Ready Product, Spicy Beef Meatballs filled with Mozzarella, a gluten-free product.

Blacker Hall Farm Shop, Branch Road, Calder Grove, Wakefield, West Yorkshire – Turkey & Ham Pie, and two Kitchen Ready Products - Yorkshire Fettle, and Ricotta & Chicken Roast, and Spicy Almond Coconut Chicken.

 NORTH WEST

H Clewlow Butchers, Pepper Street, Nantwich, Cheshire – Pork Sausage, Pork & Leek Gluten Free Sausage.

Higginsons of Grange Butchers, Main Street, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria – Traditional Cumberland Coil Speciality Sausage, Beef Weekday Wellingtons Kitchen Ready Product, Family Lasagne Ready Meal.

Cranstons Quality Butchers, Penrith, Cumbria – Dry Cured Streaky Bacon, Pork Pie, Chicken Kievs Kitchen Ready Product.

Honeywell Meats, Eaves Lane, Woodplumpton, Preston – Individual Beef Wellingtons Kitchen Ready Product, maximum marks, Honeywell`s Venison Burger, Honeywell`s Porterhouse Burger, Honeywell`s Sweet Cured Peppered Brisket, Honeywell`s Sweet Dry Cured Bacon, Pulled Pork in Honeywell`s Special Sauce Kitchen Ready Product.

 MIDLANDS

Chase Farm Shop, Weeford Road, Roughley, Sutton Coldfield – Best Porlk Sausage, Chase Farm Dry Cure Bacon, Chase Farm Pork Pie, Dry Aged Rolled Limousin Sirloin, a Kitchen Ready Product..

Grasmere Farm Traditional Butchers, Market Gate, Market Deeping, Peterborough – Rutland Garlic Sausage, Whole Haslet, Dry Cured Back Bacon, Dry Cured Smoked Back Bacon, Dry Cured Streaky Bacon, Gluten Free Premium Pork Sausage.

CN Wright Butchers, Alfreton Road, Codnor, Ripley, Derbyshire – Traditional Pork Sausage, Pork & Sage Sausage, Pork & Tomato Sausage, Garlic & Black Pepper Pork Sausage, Dry Cured Back Bacon, Traditional Pork Pie.

Walter Smith Fine Foods, High Street, Albrighton, Wolverhampton, West Midlands – Gluten Free Lamb Tagine Sausage and two Kitchen Ready Products - Purebred Hereford Cote De Boeuf, maximum marks, Boneless Leg of Staffordshire Lamb with Rosemary and Pine Nut Stuffing, Maple Cured Oak Smoked Free Range Shortback Bacon.

Walter Smith Fine Foods, Market Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire – Free Range Pork Sausage, Sweet Pork & Caramelised Onion Sausage, The `Grande` Italian Burger,  Moroccan Stuffed Saddle of Lamb Kitchen Ready Product

Walter Smith Fine Foods, Bridgemere Garden Centre, Nantwich, Cheshire – Lamb & Mint Pie, Dry Aged Hereford T-Bone Steaks, Kitchen Ready Product Harissa Lamb Parcel, a gluten-free product.

Walter Smith Fine Foods,  Melbicks, Wyevale Garden Centre, Coleshill, Birmingham – Dry Cured Streaky Bacon, Steak & Stilton Pie, both maximum marks, Free Range Pork Sausage.

Poxons Butchers, Windmill Lane, Castlecroft, Wolverhampton – Traditional Pork Pie.

Alan Bennett Butchers, Station Road, Codsall, Wolverhampton – Ploughman`s Pie, maximum marks, Festive Pie, maximum marks, Lincolnshire Sausage, Ranch Burger, Dry Cured Smoked Back Bacon, Traditional Steak Pie.

Aubrey Allen Butchers, Warwick Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire – Pork, Orange and Chocolate Sausage, Guinea Fowl Supreme with Wild Mushroom & Thyme Kitchen Ready Product, Garlic Mountain Melt Kitchen Ready Product, Beef Bourguignon with Garlic Mash Ready Meal.

Owen Taylor & Sons Butchers, Main Road, Leabrooks, Derbyshire – Pork & Leek Sausage, Home Cured Smoked Streaky Bacon, Steak & Ale Pie, Stilton Pork Pie, Greek Passion Lamb Rump Kitchen Ready Product, Pigs in Blankets Kitchen Ready Product.

 WALES

Moody Sow Farm Shop, Cefn Mably Farm Park, Old St Mellons, Cardiff – Italian Beef Olive Kitchen Ready Product, Pork Pinwheel Kitchen Ready Product.

EAST

Simpsons Butchers, Cameron Street, Heckington, Sleaford, Lincs – Pork Sausage, Cracked Black Pepper Pork Sausage, Gluten Free Lincolnshire Pork Sausage, Simpsons Steak & Stilton Burger, Lamb & Mint Burger, Steak Pie, Cheese, Pork & Caramelised Onion Pie, Lamb Rumps wrapped in Proscuitto Ham Kitchen Ready Product, Roast Beef Ready Meal, Lasagne Ready Meal.

C Johnson & Son Butchers, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster, Essex – Pork, Leek & Onion Sausage, Unsmoked Back Bacon, Lamb Kleftico Kitchen Ready Product,

LONDON & SOUTH

Owton`s Butchers , Chalcroft Farm, West End, Southampton – Game Faggots Kitchen Ready Product, awarded maximum marks, Pork Sausage, Spicy BBQ Pork Sausage, Oriental Duck Sausage, Veal Bacon, and two further Kitchen Ready Products - Lamb Faggots and Black Pudding.

Owtons at Country Market Butchers, Malthouse & Osbourne Farms, Kingsley, Hampshire – Owtons Pork Sausage, Curried Lamb Sausage, Pork, Ginger & Spring Onion Sausage, Chocolate Beer & Maple Syrup Smoked Bacon, Pork, Cheese & Marmite Sausage Roll, and two Kitchen Ready Products - Italian Chicken and Chicken Swirl in Satay.

C Lidgate Butchers, Holland Park Avenue, London – Chicken & Apple Sausage, Orange Crust Kitchen Ready Product.

Tilehurst Village Butchers, The Triangle, Tilehurst, Reading – Welsh Dragon Pork Sausage, Pork & Marmite Sausage, Dry Cured Black Treacle Back Bacon.

Halls of Hazlemere Butchers, Park Parade, Hazlemere, Bucks – Cosy Corner Classic Pork Sausage, Marmite Sandwich Sausage, Stilton Blue Sausage, Boerwors Sausage, Honey Roast Sausage, Oak Smoked Back Bacon, Unsmoked Dry Cured Bacon, two Kitchen Ready Products - Spanish Chicken Wrap and Black Pudding – and Gluten Free Steak Burger.

Patrick Strainge Butchers, Bridge Street, Bampton, Oxfordshire – Bampton Royals Speciality Sausage, BST (Breakfast) Speciality Sausage, Smoked Back Bacon.

Kent & Sons Butchers, High Street, St John`s Wood, London – Pork Chipolata, Pork Breakfast Sausage, Pork with Herb Sausage, Pork with Garden Herbs Sausage Roll, Duck Confit Kitchen Ready Product.

M Newiit & Sons Butchers, High Street, Thame, Oxfordshire – Oxfordshire Sausage, Beef Steak Burger, Blue Cheese Steak Burger, Home Smoked Bacon.

SOUTH WEST

Jon Thorner`s Butchers, Bridge Farm Shop, Pylle, Shepton Mallet, Somerset – Creamy Chicken, Smoked Bacon & Leek Pie, Spicy Cumberland & Red Onion Pie, Chicken Balti Pie, Giant Steak Pasty – all maximum marks – Beef, Stout & Horseradish Pie, Creamy Chicken, Smoked Gammon & Leek Pie, Lamb, Rosemary & Garlic Potato Pie, Goat Curry Pie, Sweet Potato & Goat`s Cheese Pie, Venison, Madeira & Juniper Pie, Steak & Ale Pie, Beef & Stilton Pie, Beef & Red Wine Pie, Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Pie, BBQ Pulled Pork & Caramelised Red Onion Pie.

Barrett Bros Butchers, Market Street, Crewkerne, Somerset – Country Pork Sausages, Dry Cured Back Unsmoked Bacon, Spatchcock Lemon Chicken Kitchen Ready Product.

Williams & Son Butchers, Molesworth Street, Wadebridge, Cornwall – Pork, Plum and Mulled Wine Sausage, Pork, Cranberry and Orange Sausage, Cornish Blue Steak Burger, Cajun Burger, Sweet Chilli & Garlic Burger, Sweet Cured Bacon, Dry Cured Bacon, Williams Finest Back Bacon.

Bonners of Ilminster Butchers, Silver Street, Ilminster, Somerset –Pork with Onion and Pineapple Cold Eating Pie, awarded maximum marks, Lamb Mint & Rosemary Pie.

 Smithfield Awards sponsors were 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.

 Beef for the awards lunch was provided by Weddel Swift, cheese by Anthony Rowcliffe & Son, and pre-lunch drinks by Prototype Creative.

Photography by Pho2u.

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