The British Pie Awards, now in its twelveth year, attracted 848 entries from 160 professional pie makers, butchers and chefs. The 23 classes covered hot, cold, savoury and sweet variants – all of which must be commercially available at the time of judging.
Indeed, the 130 judges had their work cut out as they meticulously scored each pie’s appearance, texture and taste; crimping, glaze, consistency, structure and filling were all taken into account.
Once again, BASC’s Taste of Game initiative sponsored the Speciality Meat Pie and Game Pie category. From wild rabbit, leek and prune to wild boar, apple brandy, tarragon and chestnut mushroom, the ingredients were as diverse as the pies were impressive.
The winner of the game pie category was Truly Traceable Venison & Game Pies with their ‘homemade venison, stout and chestnut pie’. Other gold award winners, announced at the awards lunch on 6 March, included J W Mettrick & Son’s ‘squirrel pie’ and Bakeshack’s ‘pheasant with goji berries and chestnuts in port pie’, among others.
Taste of Game’s Annette Woolcock said: “The quality of the pies this year was the best we’ve seen so far. When Taste of Game started sponsoring the British Pie Awards, there was no game pie category; this year we had 41 entries, which is very exciting.”
The accolade of Overall Supreme Champion – judged across all categories – was bestowed upon 2018 winner Turner’s Pies of West Sussex for their top rump steak and Stilton cheese pie.