North west bakers celebrate success

Several butchers across the north west were celebrating this week after scooping a range of titles in the Fine Foods Northwest Awards, showcasing everything from sausages to mutton.

John Mettrick (pictured), of JW Mettrick & Son in Glossop, Derbyshire, won the fresh meat category with some mutton cutlets. John said: "We're absolutely over the moon to win this award. This is a great product and with the award behind it, we hope it will be a great success. Most importantly, the award serves as recognition for everybody involved in our supply chain, from the farmer through to the slaughtermen and the butchers; everyone has had a hand in its success, from farm to plate. The award will give the staff a real lift and serve as a great motivation for us to continue to strive to make great products."

Kevin Berkins, a butcher who also works as a landlord, running The Eagle at Barrow in Clitheroe and The Fence Gate Inn near Burnley, took the sausages category for his leek and black pudding sausages.

Kevin said: "Winning is always good and to be judged by professionals and peers in the industry is a real accolade. I am always striving to create new and exciting products, and I am very pleased that the leek and black pudding with a hint of sage sausage has been so well-received."

The Gunnery, restaurant, bar and delicatessen, based in Tarvin, Cheshire, won the 'prepared meals' category for its game pie. Sally Harris, co-owner, said: "Our aim at The Gunnery has always been to create homemade signature dishes, using free-range, seasonal ingredients. This award represents a great starting point and I can't wait to show it to the chefs."

Broughs of Birkdale, based in Southport, Lancashire, won the cured and cooked meat category for its dry/sweet-cure smoked bacon. David Allen of Broughs, said: "Winning an award like this gives us a great kickstart and helps us to get feedback, and reach a wider audience, encouraging customers to visit us from across Merseyside and Cheshire, and sample our new products."

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