Busy times at Aubrey Allen

Warwickshire-based catering butcher Aubrey Allen has had a busy year so far, with a visit from student chefs and two prizes for its sausages.

The company bagged first prize for its Cotswold sausage at the Heart of England Fine Foods Competition and won a commendation for its Warwickshire Whizzer.

Aubrey Allen sausage-maker David Haines said: "We are really pleased that the sausages have been recognised in this competition. We use British free-range pork and natural casings and ingredients, as well as a very high meat content, of course."

The Leamington Spa-based firm also recently welcomed a group of 20 student chefs from Stratford Catering College, where they were given a tour of Aubrey Allen's meat production unit.

The students were shown the individual cutting rooms as well as the larder chef preparation area and were given a talk by account manager Simon Smith, covering issues from the importance of provenance to the taste of the final product and how the company manages its relationships with farmers to secure the best meat.

Smith said: "It is so important that trainee chefs learn from the offset how important sourcing the best product is in cooking; not only can it add to the taste, but also to the value of the dishes. This was a great introduction to our Chef's Butcher Academy, which we are launching this year for students and even for experienced chefs."

Peter Harvey, Stratford College lecturer, said: "The mix of the presentations followed by seeing it in practice worked extremely well and all students, regardless of ability or interest, took something away from the day."

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