Top-notch Q Guild butchers Cranstons have struck gold in the prestigious national butchery Smithfield Awards. Seven products submitted by Cranstons Quality Butchers in Penrith scooped gold honours. They were Cumberland Sausage with Caramelised Onion, Pork Link Breakfast Sausage, Honey Roast Ham, Chicken Liver Pate, Smoked Dry Cured Streaky Bacon, Pork & Apple Pie and Homity Pie.
All are prepared at Cranstons central production unit on Ullswater Road in Penrith and sold through the group’s six shops throughout North Cumbria and Hexham.
Philip Cranston, Managing Director said ‘’We are thrilled to have received 7 Gold Awards in what are widely recognised as the Uk’s elite butchery awards. We have won golds in previous years but this is our most successful year to date. Our dedicated production team are constantly striving to create tasty products for our customers to enjoy so it is wonderful to have our quality recognised in this way’.
A total of 479 products from 54 Q butchers nationwide, were entered for the eight categories in this year’s Smithfield Awards, the annual national product evaluation competition They were judged by independent panels of food and meat industry experts.
The awards were announced and presented at the Butchers Hall in Smithfield, London, ancestral home of the Q Guild, by Matthew Fort, food and drink editor at the Guardian, author of several award-winning books on food, and expert judge on the popular TV series, The Great British Menu.
Mr Fort said: “I’ve admired butchers all my life. There’s something about the skill, watching butchers break up a carcass with their calm assurance - it’s like watching a magician at work. It’s like the finest theatre - the knife coming down, even sharpening the knife, the noise, and the crunch when the cleaver comes down with such precision. To someone like me, this is absolute magic.
“I’ve spent many hours watching butchers going about their business and every time there’s something to be learnt. I’ve never had a serious conversation with a butcher where I haven’t learned something.
“I think the future can be extremely positive for Q Guild butchers; the emphasis on quality, precision and wisdom – you can’t put too high a price on that.”
Q Guild national chairman, West Yorkshire butcher Brindon Addy, said: “Smithfield Awards are among the meat industry’s most esteemed and cherished accolades, recognising and rewarding both product quality and innovation, at the same time reflecting the skills continually demonstrated by our members - Great British butchers one and all.”