Annual awards honour top turkeys

Copas came out top at the recent British Turkey Awards, when the traditional family-run turkey producer took two titles for its boneless, free-range turkey in the Best Branded Product category, and Very Very Special Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary.

Copas came out top at the recent British Turkey Awards, when the traditional family-run turkey producer took two titles for its boneless, free-range turkey in the Best Branded Product category, and Very Very Special Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary in the Best Accompaniment sector.

While JW Mettrick & Son of Glossop scooped the Butcher of the Year title and Morrisons fought off stiff competition from supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury's to take the British Turkey Retailer of the Year. Best Christmas Product was awarded to Marks & Spencer and family-run Turkey Talk, of Coventry, wowed the judges with its three-bird roast - a turkey stuffed with goose and pheasant - to take the Best Innovative title, a new category for 2006.

Chair of judges Jane Curran, food editor of Woman & Home magazine, told 200 guests gathered in Claridge's Ballroom: "We judges firmly believe the British Turkey industry should do everything it can to help these excellent ambassadors for quality British Turkey keep on attracting customers to their shops."

For the fist time this year's the judging panel included a consumer for the first time - secretary Maria Ellis, of Welling, Kent - who won her place through a competition on the British Turkey website. She said: "I love turkey and eat it often. But to see and taste all these products was a real eye opener. It has changed the way I will look at the turkey fixture in future."

The evening raised more than £5,000 for the children's medical charity SPARKS.

The full list of winners included:

Best Added Value Product: Morrison's Hot & Spicy Turkey Steaks

Best Ready to Eat Product: Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Free Range Roast Turkey Breast

Best Accompaniment: Copas Very Very Special Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary

Best Barbecue Product: Morrison's Tomato Salsa Medallions (Highly Commended - Asda British Turkey Sausages)

Chef of the Year: Omero Gallucci, Arora International Hotel, Crawley Tuscan Turkey, Chestnut, Cranberry & Wild Mushroom Rotello

Best Branded Product: Copas Traditional Turkeys Free Range Boneless Turkey

(Highly Commended - Bernard Matthews Mini Boneless Breast Joint with Tomato, Garlic & Oregano Seasoning)

Recipe Writer of the Year: Lindsey Bareham, Stella, Sunday Telegraph - Turkey Tom Yam with Coriander Relish

Best Primary Product (joints): Waitrose Free Range Lincolnshire Turkey

Best Innovative Product: Turkey Talk Adlington 3 Bird Roast

(Highly Commended Kelly Turkeys Kellybronze Breast Joint with Jus)

Butcher of the Year: J W Mettrick & Son, Glossop

Best Catering Product: Bernard Matthews British Turkey Breast Steaks

Best Christmas Product (whole bird, joints): M&S Free range Ultimate Turkey

Retailer of the Year: Morrison's

(Highly Commended - Sainsbury's )

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