Skip to main content

Success at the 2024 Smithfield Awards

Ten butchers from across the UK have been crowned best in class at this year’s Smithfield Awards.

Q Guild chair Kathryn Meadows presented former chair John Mettrick with a gift to recognise his achievements during his 3 year term at the helm

Posted : Meat Management Magazine 26-04-2024

Announced on Wednesday (24th April) at Butchers’ Hall in London, winning butchers hailed from towns across the UK – from Cowdenbeath in Scotland to Ilminster in Somerset.

Organised by the Q Guild of Butchers, the awards which have run for more than 30 years, recognise and reward the UK’s finest craft butchery products. As part of the evaluation process, products from UK butchers including steak, sausages, burgers, bacon, BBQ products and more went head-to-head to be named best in class and secure a coveted Diamond Award.

Products submitted for this year’s awards were assessed by a judging panel including Scotland’s National Chef and MasterChef The Professionals winner Gary Maclean alongside a selection of industry professionals, journalists and foodies at the City of Glasgow College last month.

The best products were awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold status, with the latter in each category being pitched against one another for the best in category Diamond Award.

Award 2024 was judged by Irish butcher Pat Whelan from a shortlist of the Diamond Award winning products. The winner and crowned overall ‘best of the best’ was Penrith butcher, Cranstons, for their Topside and Cheddar Burger. In addition to selecting the recipient of the coveted Smithfield Platinum award, Whelan was on hand to share some wisdom about the trade as part of a Q&A with the Q Guild’s Mark Turnbull.

Max Smith from Blackwells of Norton was crowned Q Guild Young Butcher of the Year – a category open to all aged under 24 and designed to recognise and reward the UK’s up and coming talent who represent the very future of the industry sector.

The Judges’ Wildcard, introduced in 2023, was awarded to Bonners of Ilminster for their Guanciale, which although not a category winner, caught the judges’ eyes and taste buds.

Two Honorary Memberships were also awarded at the event to mark the retirement of Q Guild members – John and Helen Buckwell (Buckwells of Southsea) and Arthur and Julie Wright (CN Wright, Ripley). John and Arthur have, between them, served the industry for over 120 years and built businesses that have been at the very heart of their respective communities.

Gordon Wallace, Q Guild manager said: “The Smithfield Awards serve as a platform to recognise the very best in UK craft butchery, helping to elevate standards and inspire product innovation. They are the meat trade’s foremost and most rigorous product evaluation and achieving a Smithfield award is a fantastic endorsement.

“We are grateful to all those who took part in what has been a hugely successful and memorable event”.

Full list of award winners

Overall Winner – Smithfield Platinum Award

  • Topside and Cheddar Burger – Cranstons, Penrith

Diamond Award Winners:

  • Traditional Pork Sausage – Pork Link Sausage – Hugh Black & Sons, Cowdenbeath
  • Innovative Sausage – The Hornet Sausage – Aubrey Allen, Leamington Spa
  • ‘Simply Cook’ Product – Coronation Sausage Roll – Aubrey Allen, Leamington Spa
  • Burger – Topside and Cheddar Burger – Cranstons Ltd, Penrith
  • Cold Eating Pie – Pork & Caramelised Onion Pie – Mettrick’s Butchers, Glossop
  • Hot Eating Pie – Traditional Steak Pie – Thomas Johnston Butchers, Falkirk
  • BBQ Product – Tandoori Lamb Lollipops – Mettrick’s Butchers, Glossop
  • Speciality Game Meat Product – Venison Wellington – Turnbull’s Northumbrian Food Hall, Alnwick
  • Best Butchers Steak – Dry Aged Sirloin Steak – Blackwells Butchers, Norton
  • Home Cured Bacon – Black Treacle Bacon – J Brindon Addy, Holmfirth
  • Cooked Meat Product – Honey Roast Ham – C. Lidgate, Holland Park
  • Judges’ Wild Card – Guanciale – Bonners the Butchers, Ilminster
  • Q Guild Young Butcher of the Year – Max Smith of Blackwell’s Butchers, Norton
  • Q Guild chair Kathryn Meadows presented former chair John Mettrick with a gift to recognise his achievements during his 3 year term at the helm