Taking a slice of the prizes at this year’s Smithfield Awards were a trio of butchers from the Falkirk area.
Proving to be a real diamond was Graeme Johnston, who picked up the top accolade in the hand-crafted traditional Scottish beef product. The beef chipolata is made to a special recipe at Fergusons of Airdrie, which he has run for the past seven years.
Along with the diamond award, the shop also picked up two gold awards for its beef links and steak lorne.
Adding to the success, brother Richard, who runs Thomas Johnston in Cow Wynd, Falkirk, landed a hat-trick of gold awards for its square sliced beef sausage, steak pie and steak and gravy pie.
Commenting on their accolades, Graeme said: “We put these successes down to the quality of our products, the quality of our recipes and the quality of our staff, who have a real passion for everything they do. This is reflected in the many awards we continue to achieve.”
Contributing to the local success story, Patricks of Camelon picked up five gold awards – two for its kitchen-ready products, minty meatballs and boudin noir meatballs, two more for its beef and pork chipolatas, and a fifth for pork and black pudding pie.
The Smithfield Awards, also known as the ‘Butchers’ BAFTAs’ were presented at a ceremony in London by celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli. More than 360 products were submitted from Q Guild butchers nationwide.
Brindon Addy, Q Guild national chairman, said: “Products were evaluated by an independent panel of expert judges and the fact that 170, or 47 per cent of the total entry, received either diamond or gold awards speaks wonders for the quality of submissions and product innovation.”