The annual gauntlet is being thrown down to White Rose meat men and women, as the countdown commences to the county’s yearly product evaluation highlight, the 26th Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage & Products Competition.
This year, it will feature a new open small pork pie class for the first time in the contest’s history.
To be staged at Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford, on Sunday, November 16, the Great Yorkshire remains the UK’s biggest and most prestigious regional meat trades competition, attracting hundreds of entries from independent retail butchers, farm shops and bakers who make pies on their own premises.
Once again, there are three pork pie classes for traditional, stand and speciality cold eating pies, and three sausage classes – thin, thick and speciality. Supreme champions and reserve supreme champions will be crowned from the two main pie and sausage classes, with the sausage champion also automatically qualifying for the national ‘Champion of Champions’ sausage-making competition.
There are also standalone black pudding and beef burger competition classes, plus a ‘New Kid on the Block’ class for the best newcomer to encourage new blood to enter and gain valuable experience in the meat trades competition arena.
This year, for the first time ever, organisers, the Confederation of Yorkshire Butchers Councils, have decided to introduce an open small pork pie clas, which South Yorkshire-based retail butchery industry supplier Dalziel, of Castleford, has agreed to sponsor.
Confederation president, Keighley butcher Roy Dykes, explained: “This will be open to butchers, farm shops and bakers UK-wide, including Yorkshire. Every year, more and more people from outside the county want to enter the Great Yorkshire because of the prestige it holds in our industry sector.
“We have now opened it up to all-comers with the new traditional pork pie class and hope this innovation will not only enhance the appeal of the competition, but also give our own people something to think about!
“However, the winner of this new class will not qualify for the supreme pork pie championship, as this and the supreme champion sausage remain exclusively the domain of Yorkshire entrants.”
The closing date for competition postal entries is Saturday, November 8, though entries are accepted until the morning of the contest . Judging is by independent panels of food and meat industry afficionados, along with a number of guest adjudicators.
All championship, 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed class winners will receive individual trophies and Yorkshire Rose Award diplomas, with diplomas also presented to each finalist.
Mr Dykes said: “The Great Yorkshire remains one of the most stringent product evaluation tests in the land. Feedback from industry experts not only helps entrants enhance their products, but also gain ideas for new ones.
“Principal prize winners benefit from publicity that more often than not gives a tremendous boost to sales of their award-winning products. We are hoping for a record entry this year, particularly with the introduction of our new open class.”
Mr Dykes also appealed for a bumper turnout at his annual president’s dinner, which takes place on the eve of the competition at Cedar Cour Hotel, when guests will include John Mettrick, president of the National Federation of Meat & Food Traders. The York-based Huge Party Band will provide entertainment.
Other sponsors include Devro, Gordon Rhodes & Son, H Gowers, Interbake, J&N Food Equipment, Leeds Bacon Co, Lucas Ingredients, McDonnells, National Federation of Meat & Food Traders, Pendred Retail Solutions, Ripon Select Foods, Oris, William Jones Packaging and WR Wright & Sons.
Full details of the 2014 competition, which is supported by a Trade Fair, and a downloadable entry form are posted at the competition website at www.greatyorkscomp.co.uk