Battle due to commence for meat and baking trade award

Gary Simpson of Simpsons Butchers, with some of his Lincolnshire Sausages.
Gary Simpson of Simpsons Butchers, with some of his Lincolnshire Sausages.

A HECKINGTON butcher will be looking to defend his crown as one of the finest in the trade at this year’s Lincolnshire County Foods Poacher Competition.

Lincolnshire has some of the finest butchers and bakers in Britain, and the best of them will be slugging it out with their products in the contest which has been held every two years since 1990 to find the highest quality foods the county has to offer.

Gary Simpson, from Heckington, who also has a shop at Four Seasons in Sleaford, currently holds the awards for the best burgers and sausage rolls, but entries from all parts of Lincolnshire are already being taken for 2012.

Odling Brothers of Navenby came top in the innovations section, while previous prize winners Southern and Thorpe of Ruskington are also in the running.

The competition will take place at the Epic Centre on the Lincolnshire Showground on October 16, when panels of expert and consumer judges will each consider one of the categories. Gold, silver and bronze awards are given for such classic local delicacies as Lincolnshire sausage, stuffed chine, pork pie, plum bread and haslet. Other awards go to national dishes including bacon, steak pies, lamb burgers, speciality sausages and to innovations, which includes vegetarian and non-meat pastry products. Last year’s new ideas included rabbit sausage, venison and cherry burger and Sydney Surprise, so judges need to be prepared for anything. A new category this year is for a gluten-free sausage.

A champion product is selected by the judges of each of the 11 categories, and a trophy to display in the shop will be presented to them at a ceremony later in the year. The winning items will also go on display at the Food and Drink Fair to be held in the Epic Centre on the Lincolnshire Showground in November.

The Lincolnshire Butcher of the Year trophy is based on points scored in the classes for our traditional local products.