Food writer to present Q Guild Smithfield awards

Food luminary Tom Parker Bowles will present the 2017 Butchers Q Guild Smithfield Awards, to be held early in 2017. 

“It’s fantastic news for the Q Guild,” said national chairman, Alnwick butcher Mark Turnbull.

Parker Bowles is a food writer and restaurant critic. His most recent publication is The Cook Book for Fortnum & Mason, due out this autumn.

He is the restaurant critic for The Mail on Sunday and also Food Editor for Esquire magazine, as well as Contributing Editor for Conde Nast Traveller (UK) and Departures (US).

In 2015, he was a judge on the first series of the Australian Network Nine restaurant competition series, The Hot Plate. He was also a judge on the Simon Cowell-devised primetime show, Food Glorious Food, for ITV, co-presented Market Kitchen on UKTV and was a regular contributor to Gordon Ramsey’s The F Word on Channel 4.

He is also an ambassador for the GREAT, promoting British trade abroad.

The deadline for entries from all eight Q Guild regions is 23 September, with judging taking place at the City of Glasgow College, the leading provider of education, training and research for the Scottish culinary industry, on 19 and 20 October. All products are judged blind by independent panels of international food and meat industry experts.

Awards categories have been boosted to ten in total this year with the addition of a brand-new Gluten Free Products class. The other hardy annuals are Traditional Pork Sausages, Speciality Sausages, Burgers, Ready to Eat Meat & Roasts, Bacon & Cured Products, Pies & Bakery - Hot, Pies & Bakery – Cold, Kitchen Ready Products, and Ready Meals.

Gold and Silver Smithfield Award certificates will be awarded in each category. From all Gold award winners across each participating region, judges will decide on the national finalists for each product category, who then have an opportunity to win a coveted diamond award presented to individual category champions.

One of them will then emerge as the overall Smithfield Awards supreme champion – the star-studded accolade all Q Guild butchers want to win.

There will also be prizes for the best Beef and Lamb products from English, Welsh and Scottish origin, and the best Pork product overall.

Winners will be announced at the awards presentation in Ironmongers Hall, London, on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

Turnbull explained:  “We have responded to members’ comments about the promotional longevity of the Smithfield Awards and decided to make the presentations early in the year rather than at the end. This will allow winners to promote their products for a full 11 months within the current year of the awards.

“The Q Guild’s Smithfield Awards remain a highly respected and recognised product evaluation. Nothing says ‘we’re the best’ like winning a Smithfield Award.

As former winners readily testify, picking up a Smithfield Award is also a powerful marketing tool, with many using the awards on their tickets, packaging, flyers, websites and in local and national press, along with outdoor advertising.

“Entrants also claim that the judges’ feedback is invaluable in helping them enhance products and launch even more successful ones.

“Last year’s Smithfield Awards attracted a record entry of 472 individual products from 56 Q Butchers – more than half the national membership – and we’re hoping to do even better this time around, such is their growing popularity.”

He added: “Running these awards is only possible thanks to the support we receive from other organisations and we’re delighted to be working once again with our valued sponsors.”

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