A Dickinson and Morris Melton Mowbray Pork Pie fittingly beat off opposition from nearly 900 pies to be crowned Supreme Champion at the British Pie Awards presentation ceremony in Melton today (Friday).
A record 154 producers entered a range of tasy pies in 21 classes for the ninth edition of the event, which was judged on Wednesday.
And the Dickinson and Morris pie, made by the Walkers Charnwood Bakery, was chosen as the best overall by head judge, Ian Nelson, from Hovis, and deputy head judge Steve Barnes, from Slattery’s in Bury,
Mr Nelson said: “Faced with 21 superb pies, picking one for the top title is a tough job but this year’s winner is deservedly so.
“It’s an outstanding pie, a good even bake with wonderfully crisp pastry and a beautifully seasoned, perfectly balanced filling – we just wanted to keep eating it.”
Stephen Hallam, MD of Dickison and Morris Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, said: “I felt honoured when they announced we had won and everyone is incredibly proud.
“To be the winner of winners from 21 classes is a big honour.”
He added: “It is important because I am heavily involved in promoting tourism in Melton and, of course, the town is a food tourism destination.
“Winning this award has to be good for Melton and I’m sure it will help bring more people into the town.”
Entries for the 2017 event included over 200 beef or steak pies, 90 pork pies, 137 chicken pies and 46 pasties and were judged by more than 100 judges, including TV chef Phil Vickery and Masterchef TV food critic Charles Campion.
Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the British Pie Awards, said: “The calibre of entries this year was outstanding.
“The recipe innovation was remarkable, reinventing the British classic with an innovative variety of filling combinations, spices and sauces.
“The entrants really demonstrated what the future of the great British pie looks like; with notable stand out in the Gluten Free Class. Mary Berry would be pleased to know too that there wasn’t a soggy bottom in sight.
“I’d like to give my sincere thanks to all involved, including our judges, sponsors, volunteers and, of course, all our wonderful pie makers.”
The Dickinson and Morris Melton Mowbray pork pie was also crowned champion in the Melton pork pie class.
The company’s Stephen Hallam tweeted: “Gosh and wow. Dickinson and Morris not just Class Champion but overall Supreme Champion. Stunned for words.”
Old Dalby-based Nice Pie celebrated victory in three categories. It was champion in the Beef and Any Flavour Pie class with a beef in red wine with roasted marrow bone pie.
The business was also made champion in the Chicken and Vegetable/Herb Pie Class with its chicken and black garlic pie.
The company’s third success came in the chicken and other meat pie section, with Kath’s chicken, gammon and mushroom pie.
Nice Pie, which is based at Gorse Farm, has been scooping prestigious awards ever since it started up four years ago. Run by Kath, her husband Phil and daughter Aimi, the business got the seal approval of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver when he filmed his TV show there a couple of years ago.
Phil said: “To win that many classes, when you are up against some big producers is really impressive.
“It gives us great recognition as a piemaking business. Kath has this great knack for producing pies which have a unique taste.”
The annual themed class at this year’s awards celebrated regional traditions and heritage. A chicken and sausage meat pudding pie produced by Great Walsingham Barn Café, from Norfolk, was crowned the regional class winner.
Some of the award winners were in Market Place in Melton on Saturday to sell their tasty treats as part of the Great British Festival of Pies.
Live music and singing was organised to entertain shoppers and visitors to round off British Pie Week.
For more information on the British Pie Awards and a full list of the winners, visit www.britishpieawards.co.uk