Norwich butcher triumphs at Bpex awards

A debut entry dazzled the judges and took the overall title at the 2011-12 Bpex Regional Roadshow and Product Excellence final this week.

Archers Butcher’s ‘Pork Wellington’, which had originally taken the title for East of England, was declared National Champion during a ceremony at Butcher’s Hall, London.

The Norwich-based butcher’s beat off strong competition from seven other butchers from across the UK to take the title. Third-generation butcher James Archer said: “I’m absolutely thrilled! This is real credit to the team at the shop. We were blown away to get the regional champion award and be in the top eight, so to come away with this national title is an honour, as well as a complete shock.

“The Pork Wellington is a great added-value product and one that we introduced especially for the competition last year. Like all of our other products, it is made from scratch on the premises and has gone on to be a popular addition to our range – selling well for weekend dinner parties and celebratory occasions such as Christmas.

“We source 100% free-range ‘Blythburgh’ pork, for its quality, flavour and consistency, and it really shines through in this dish. We use pork fillet, combined with mushroom duxelles and Parma ham, which is then encased in a light puff pastry to deliver a tender and tasty dish. To be able to tell customers that it is now the supreme National Champion product is a hugely exciting prospect.”

Bpex butchery and product development manager Keith Fisher said: “When the judges first came across the Pork Wellington at the roadshow, they were extremely impressed and our panel of national judges agreed. It really is a very worthy winner and proves that pork performs just as well as other meats in some of our most favoured classic dishes. At a time when pork delivers good value for money, butchers are coming up with some very innovative ideas that are clearly paying off.

“We must also congratulate the other seven butchers on their success. After all, their products were selected as regional champions from almost 1,500 products in total. Every year, the quality and originality of entries stand out – and this was no different for the 2011-2012 season. The variety of products coming through from butchers old and new is impressive, which is backed up by the increasing number of gold awards given out by judges. We look forward to this continuing in 2012-2013.”

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