Fence Gate wins banger award
Cheese and Sun Blush Tomato with a hint of Basil was voted the winning sausage in this year's Foodservice Sausage of the Year competition.
The entry, from the Fence Gate Inn, Fence, near Burnley, Lancashire, was voted the best of over 250 sausages entered into the competition.
Organised by BPEX, the competition is an annual highlight for sausage manufacturers supplying the foodservice industry. It recognises and rewards product excellence and innovation in five separate categories: Traditional Pork Sausage, Speciality Pork Sausage, Best Pub Sausage, Reduced Fat/Low Sodium Sausage and Volume Produced Sausage.
First, second and third award-winners in each category were put to the test in a national final at Butchers' Hall. The winning sausage from the Fence Gate Inn originally took top spot in the Best Pub Pork Sausage category, achieving a 'gold award' and an impressive score of 99 points out of 100, before going on to take the Overall Champion title.
Managing director of the Fence Gate, Kevin Berkins, who originally trained as a butcher, was delighted with his win. He said: "I developed the recipe for this sausage specifically for the competition, using organic pork, fresh leeks, sunblushed tomatoes and Lancashire cheese. I'm so pleased and proud that it has won - for a restauranteur to be at the pinnacle of the sausage industry is just brilliant Sausages are a really popular choice on our menu - we always have six different varieties for people to choose from, and we'll definitely make a feature of our winning sausage, particularly as next week is British Sausage Week"
Initial judging took place over a period of three days, which saw both raw and cooked products carefully assessed, and three finalists - the winner, second and third places - from each category selected to compete for the Overall Winner's title.
Tony Goodger, BPEX foodservice trade manager, said: "The competition this year far exceeded our expectations, attracting in excess of 250 entries from butchers and caterers across the country. All the shortlisted products are of superb quality and all deserve a place in the final but there can only be one winner, and our congratulations go to the Fence Gate. In the run-up to British Sausage Week, this competition puts those quality sausages served in pubs, restaurants, schools and other establishments firmly on the map."