Pie competition heats up

An overwhelming response has been received to the first-ever British Pie Awards, with over 500 entries flooding in from far and wide across the UK, organisers have claimed.

With an amazing array of flavours, producers from regions all over England, Scotland and Wales have taken up the gauntlet in a bid to become the producer of the Supreme Champion 'Pie of Pies' and take home the £1,000 prize.

"The enthusiasm from butchers and bakers across the country has been incredible," said Matthew O'Callaghan, chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, which is hosting the event. "When I first had the idea three years ago, there was always something in the way of getting it going, but I have to say that it has been even better received than I had hoped or expected."

For centuries, the pie has been recognised as a staple of British cuisine with £490m per annum being spent in Britain on chilled pies alone. The aims of the awards are to celebrate the heritage of the British pie, to recognise the craft of bakers, butchers and other producers and to support British produce.

Sponsored by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, Sysonby Knoll Hotel, Stapleford Park Country House Hotel and D T Saunders Ltd of Leicester, the British Pie Awards will take place on 21 April, 2009, and the venue for the awards
is the magnificent setting of St Mary's Church in Melton Mowbray.

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