Q GUILD PRESS RELEASE
WINNER OF BEST WELSH BEEF & WELSH LAMB PRODUCTS AT 2015 SMITHFIELD AWARDS
Martin Player High Class Butchers in Park Road, Whitchurch, clinched two major regional accolades with a brace of gold award winners - Best Welsh Lamb product with its Lamb with Rosemary & Honey Sausage, and Best Welsh Beef product with its Flat Iron Steak with Red Wine & Shallots.
"Our Lamb with Rosemary & Honey Sausages are an established favourite and a great seller. We only use Welsh lamb in these sausages, while our Flat Iron Steak with Red Wine & Shallots is a new product that has proved very popular," said Martin Player.
The shop bagged eight gold awards in total, including a perfect 100 out of 100 score for its Flat Iron Steak with Coffee & Black Pepper, a recent product innovation that has proved a popular addition to the shop's stable of steaks.
"Using dry aged Welsh beef flat iron steak, I personally think it's one of the best. I came up with this when I came across the coffee and black pepper marinade," explained Mr Player, who was this year appointed chairman of the Q Guild's new standalone Welsh region.
The other gold award winners were Traditional Pork Sausage, Harissa Pork with Apricots Sausage, Venison with Cranberry & Rosemary Sausage, Steak Burger and Pork & Pickle Pie.
The shop has been making Traditional Pork Sausages for a good few years, using only 100% British pork, seasoning and natural casings. Its Harissa Pork with Apricots Sausage is a new product that has proved extremely popular, while Venison with Cranberry & Rosemary Sausage is one of Martin Player's older products. "Game fans love them," said Mr Player.
The shop's Steak Burger uses 100% Welsh chuck steak and is a multiple award winner, while Mr Player said Pork & Pickle Pie was even more popular than its traditional plain pork pies, using only 100% British pork and a Welsh sweet pickle.
The Smithfield Awards, the 29th year they have been staged, were open to all Q Guild members UK-wide and this year attracted a record entry of 472 individual products across nine categories from 56 Q butchers - more than half the national membership - were submitted this year.
All were judged by independent panels of food and meat industry experts. The measure of quality was indicated when nine products received top-rated diamond awards, 221 products clinched gold - representing 51% of the total entry - while 113 silver and 72 bronze awards were also handed out.
Trophies and certificates were presented by Monica Galetti, one of the best-known female chefs in London and presenter and judge on BBC2's MasterChef: The Professionals, at a ceremony at Ironmongers Hall, London. (Thus, Nov 19)
Q Guild national chairman, Alnwick butcher Mark Turnbull, said: "The Smithfield Awards remain one of the most demanding and stringent product evaluation tests in the land and the esteem in which they are held is clearly demonstrated by the fact that this year has seen record entries from a record number of businesses.
"All products need to be at the very top of their game to stand a chance of success and nothing says 'we're the best' like winning a Smithfield Award. They remain among the meat industry's most esteemed accolades, not only motivating recipients to introduce even more successful products, but also providing ideas and inspiration to fellow Q Guild members across the nation.