Great Taste Awards 2008

A Leamington Spa catering butcher stole the show at this year's Great Taste Awards, after romping home with three prestigious gold awards.

A Leamington Spa catering butcher stole the show at this year's Great Taste Awards, after romping home with three prestigious gold awards.

Aubrey Allen was presented with the three much coveted awards for its its beef bourgignon and garlic mash, shepherd's pie and pea and ham soup.

Rob Bean, head chef for Aubrey Allen said: "We had to supply the judges with details on provenance and key ingredients. We are delighted that our dedication and craftsmanship has been recognized by the Guild. We are constantly developing new dishes but it is also great to see the favourites get the recognition."

The Great Taste Awards awards, which are organised by the Guild of Fine Food, are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year. Last year, the consumer enthusiasm generated by the awards let to increased sales to the tune of £640,000 in 524 Guild members' stores.

Last year's Supreme Champion winner was a free-range pork pie from Walter Smith's butchers in Birmingham. Before Walter Smith's won the Supreme Champion award, pork pies made up less than 1% of their sales but they now represent over 10% and their pies are now sold through Selfridges.

The Great Taste Awards judging standards, devised by the Guild of Fine Food, are the most rigorous in the UK. Every entry is blind tasted by teams of experts. By the time it earns gold, it will have been assessed by at least three different teams. All the judges' comments are made available to producers. If no gold is awarded, they need to know how and why.

This year's judges include Alex James, farmer, journalist and bass player with Blur, Mark Hix, the chef's chef, Charles Campion from Evening Standard & The Independent, Tom Parker-Bowles of UKTV Food's Market Kitchen and national food journalist Fiona Sims.

Bob Farrand of the Guild of Fine Food, said: "The winning products have been through a thorough judging process and we are able to assure consumers that the Great Taste Award logo, which all award winners can use, signifies genuine, proven fine food."

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