Cumberland sausage award for Lancashire publican

A Lancashire butcher turned restaurateur has won a competition for his Cumberland sausage, shaking up the North-West by taking the title outside Cumbria for the first time.

Kevin Berkins, who runs Fence Gate Inn near Burnley, makes all his own sausages, black puddings and prepares the meat for the restaurant kitchen despite not having worked as a butcher for 25 years.

He said the award, which is run by North West Fine Food, had provoked some controversy among Cumbrian butchers.

Kevin said he only used the best ingredients and the recipe was traditional, but modified over years of use.

He was full of praise for the normally humble sausage: "The sausage, in my opinion, sits alongside a fillet steak. It has its own identity and if you make one of quality, this is where you'll end up," he said.

Sue Nelson, chief executive of North West Fine Food, said: "The standard of entries in the competition gets higher every year and being a winner is a massive achievement.

"Thank you to everyone who entered and the general public who got behind their local entries so well."

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