Q Guild Butchers fire up the grill to be BBQ king

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Across the country, Q Guild butchers are sharpening their knives with zeal as the winners of seven regional category heats get fired up to compete in a national event to find Britain’s BBQ champion. 

A winner of Q Guild’s National Barbecue Championship will be announced on Sunday 15 May, at the organisation’s business conference in Nottingham, which runs until Monday 16 May.

Regional qualifiers from the South Highlands down to the south coast have been under way for some time to find strong competitors for six BBQ product categories: pork sausage, beef burger, naked steak, speciality burger, speciality sausage and BBQ product.

One overall winner will also be crowned the ‘Supreme Barbecue Champion’ by the Q Guild – a body that represents 110 award-winning butchers from the UK.

“Entries for the BBQ competition have increased again this year, such is the growing stature of our annual highlight,” said Q Guild’s national chairman Mark Turnbull. “All regional winners are to be congratulated on qualifying for the national final and we wish them every success.”

In the Scottish heat, Robert Alexander, a butcher’s of Port Glasgow, swept to three product category wins, securing his place in the national final for his 6oz Steakburger, Extra Lean Rib Eye Steak and Coffee Crusted BBQ Steak.

Mearns T McCaskie Butchers in Wemyss Bay booked a spot with a mighty Tex Mex burger; Alex Jack Butchers in Stranraer won the speciality sausage heat with a spicy Italian sausage, JJ Rodgers & Sons Butchers from Glasgow won the pork sausage region qualifier.

The Moody Sow Farm Shop in Old St Mellons, Wales, has secured a place in May’s final, with four winning products. Its speciality BBQ items, mango chutney burger and a Kashmiri masala lamb cannon, won special praise for creativity.

The remaining two categories – beef burger and pork sausage – will have Welsh representation through Martin Player High Class Butcher in Whitchurch.

In the north-west, reigning BBQ Supreme Champion, H Clewlow Butchers, from Nantwich, breezed through to the final with a brace of bangers – a classic hot dog pork sausage and a speciality chicken, lemon and ginger sausage.

Cranstons, Penrith, won two product categories for the north west, with a naked rib eye steak and speciality Topside and Cheddar Burger. Frasers Butchers, Bolton, progressed to the final with the store’s Mega Butcher and a Lamb Doner as the speciality BBQ item.

North-east shop Turnbull’s Butchers in Alnwick will hold the fort for the pork sausage category, while naked steak will be represented by Blackwell’s Butchers in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees.

The best beef burger for the north west will be championed by Blagdon Farm Shop, north of Newcastle. The speciality burger will be represented in the final by George Payne Butchers from Brunton Park. Lishman’s Butchers in Ilkley (speciality sausage) and Nicholson’s Butchers in Whitley Bay (speciality BBQ product) make up the north-west’s remaining finalists.

For the Midlands, Walter Smith Find Foods will challenge at the final in the speciality and pork sausage categories. Walter Smith’s Albrighton branch will compete in the speciality BBQ category.

Beef burger and speciality burger will be championed by Owen Taylor Butchers. Scott Barlow Butchers, Nottingham, won the naked steak heat and will be at the final.

On the south coast, Black Barn Butchers in Surrey will compete in the final for speciality sausage and burger categories respectively. HG Walters, London, won the pork sausage qualifier while Owtons Butchers in Southampton will challenge in the naked steak category. Chadwicks, London, will represent in the beef burger competition, with James of Shepperton in the speciality BBQ product.

Bradwell Butcher, in the East of England qualifier, will challenge at the final through its beef burger, pork sausage and speciality sausage. Archer’s will represent in the other three categories – steak, speciality burger and BBQ product.

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