Just have a butchers at this top award!

Gary Simpson of Simpsons Butchers, with some of his Lincolnshire Sausages. EMN-141017-150140001

Gary Simpson of Simpsons Butchers, with some of his Lincolnshire Sausages. EMN-141017-150140001

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A Heckington-based butcher has been hailed as the best in the county at the bi-annual Lincolnshire Poacher competition.

The judging of the 2014 Lincolnshire Poacher Competition was held on Wednesday when some of the best butchers and bakers from the county submitted their produce for approval.

Gary Simpson, who opened his first butcher’s shop in Heckington but now has shops in Sleaford, Lincoln and Spalding too, has been named Lincolnshire Butcher of the Year.

He has also been declared as having the best Lincolnshire sausage and the best specialist sausage in the contest, staged every two years at the Epic Centre on Lincolnshire showground at Lincoln.

Gary said: “It is fantastic news. It just proves we produce good, all-round products.”

Champion Lincolnshire Butcher 2014/16 is based on points scored in the individual classes, so the winner needs to be skilled in all the relevant categories. Categories include Lincolnshire sausage, stuffed chine, pork pie, plum bread and haslet, as well as national dishes including bacon, steak pies, lamb burgers, speciality sausages and ‘innovations’, which includes vegetarian and non-meat pastry products.

The winning items are displayed at the Food and Drink Fair in the Epic Centre on the Lincolnshire Showground at the end of November. A trophy to display in the shop will also be presented to them at a ceremony later in the year.

Busy having just opened his Spalding shop, Gary worked until 3am preparing his 17 category entries for judging. He is yet to hear whether he earned any gold, silver or bronze awards on top of the champion awards for each local delicacy.