Vegan pie crowned supreme champion for first time at British Pie Awards

Judges check out an entry in the vegan pie class at the British Pie Awards in Melton this week EMN-190803-150632001
Judges check out an entry in the vegan pie class at the British Pie Awards in Melton this week EMN-190803-150632001
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History was made this afternoon (Friday) when judges at the British Pie Awards at Melton crowned a vegan pie as Supreme Champion for the first time.

A Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Vegan Pie, made by Somerset butcher’s, Jon Thorner’s, beat off competition from nearly 900 pies entered by 176 producers from across the nation.

Trophies lined up in St Mary's Church, Melton for the 2019 British Pie Awards EMN-190803-161511001

Trophies lined up in St Mary's Church, Melton for the 2019 British Pie Awards EMN-190803-161511001

All the pies were taste-tested by judges at St Mary’s Church in the town on Wednesday before today’s presentation event back at the historic church.

The signiicance of the winner of the coveted ‘pie of pies’ accolade was not lost on Matthew O’Callaghan, the chairman of the awards.

He said: “This year’s Supreme Champion was outstanding and well deserving of the accolade.

“From its very appearance on the judging tray you knew it was going to do well and it didn’t disappoint when it was opened and tasted.

British Pie Awards chairman, Matthew O'Callaghan, with the trophies lined up in St Mary's Church, Melton EMN-190803-161458001

British Pie Awards chairman, Matthew O'Callaghan, with the trophies lined up in St Mary's Church, Melton EMN-190803-161458001

“This pie isn’t just for vegans, it’s a pie for everybody.

“With this award we can truly say that veganism is now entering the mainstream of British food.”

Head judge, Colin Woodhead, was equally gushing in his praise for the winning pie, highlighting its moist and well-balanced filling.

He said: “There are a number of challenges to making a good vegan pie and this has cracked it.

Jon Thorner (centre) celebrates winning the Supreme Champion prize at the British Pie Awards EMN-191203-151051001

Jon Thorner (centre) celebrates winning the Supreme Champion prize at the British Pie Awards EMN-191203-151051001

“The pastry was exceptional with a crispness that complimented the filling.”

The Shepton Mallet-based farm shop which produced the overall winner opened in 1979 and staff there have been baking hand-crimped pies since 2005, priding themselves on using locally sourced, high quality produce.

The Vegan Pie Class was a brand-new category for 2019 and received the second highest number of entries with a total of 68 pies in the running to be crowned Class Champion.

Coincidentally, this year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Vegan Society in Leicester and the coining of the word ‘vegan’ by founder Donald Watson.

The Supreme Champion entry at the 2019 British Pie Awards in Melton - A Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Vegan Pie, made by Somerset butcher's, Jon Thorner's EMN-191203-151018001

The Supreme Champion entry at the 2019 British Pie Awards in Melton - A Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Vegan Pie, made by Somerset butcher's, Jon Thorner's EMN-191203-151018001

There was some local success to celebrate at today’s presentation event with a 454g Dickinson & Morris Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, entered by Walker & Son, being named winner of the category for Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Champion, sponsored by The Melton Mowbray Building Society.

The 11th British Pie Awards, which coincides with British Pie Week, this year featured 23 classes for professional bakers, butchers and chefs can submit entries to everything from a traditional Steak and Ale Pie Class to a Free From Pie and even a Pasty Class.

As well as a Class Champion prize in each category there are Highly Commended runner’s up accolades.

This year’s ‘specialist class’ championed another of the nation’s favourite staples, the Fish & Chip Shop Pie.

A Steak and Scale Ale Pie by The Cods Scallops fish and chip shop restaurant, in Nottingham, was named class winner.

Melton’s national reputation as rural capital of food makes it the ideal location to hold the awards, which promotes an industry which leads to £1 billion worth of pies being eaten every year in the UK.

All the class winners from the 2019 British Pie Awards:

SUPREME CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Howes Percival Solicitors LLP

Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Pie

Jon Thorner’s Ltd

SMALL PRODUCER AWARD 2019

Sponsored by Heygates Ltd

Jon Thorner’s Ltd

YOUNG PIE MAKER AWARD 2019

Sponsored by Kiwa

Charlie Sanders, 22

Delish, Cumbria

MELTON MOWBRAY PORK PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by The Melton Mowbray Building Society

Dickinson & Morris Melton Mowbray Pork Pie 454g

Walker & Son

PORK PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Shoulers & Son

Large Free Range Pork Pie

J W Mettrick & Son

PORK AND OTHER MEAT PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Sysonby Knoll Hotel & Restaurant

Chambers Pork and Chicken Pie with Cider Apple Stuffing

A E Chambers Ltd

COLD EATING SAVOURY PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Brooksby Melton College

Charcoal Ploughmans

A E Chambers

STEAK & KIDNEY PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Foyle Food Group

Delish Steak and Kidney

Delish

BEEF & ANY FLAVOUR PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Melton Mowbray Town Estate

Steak & Onion Pie

The Pork Shop

BEEF & ALE PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Scotch Beef PGI

Moo and Ale Pie

The Butcher and the Baker

BEEF & CHEESE PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Rondo Limited

Turner’s Steak & Mature Cheddar Pie

Turner’s Pies Ltd

MEAT & POTATO PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Golden Bake

Dartmoor Beef & Potato Pie

Passion For Pie

LAMB PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Scotch Lamb PGI

Lamb, Rosemary & Roasted Garlic Pie

FUUD Ltd

CHICKEN PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Chapman Associates

Humble Chicken, Brie & Cranberry Pie

Humble Sausage and Pie Company

CHICKEN & VEGETABLE / HERB PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Pin-it Pastry

Chicken, Leek & Tarragon

Pie Eyed

CHICKEN & OTHER MEAT PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Melton Borough Council

Chicken, Ham & Mushroom Pie

The Crown Hawk Green

SPECIALITY MEAT & GAME PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Taste of Game

Ox Cheek & Venison

Piebury Corner Ltd

FISH PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation

Salmon and Broccoli Pie

The Pie Kitchen

VEGETARIAN PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by The Vegetarian Society

Spinach & Goat Cheese Pie

Jarvis Pickle

VEGAN PIE CHAMPION 2019

The Vegan Owl

Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Pie

Jon Thorner’s Ltd

PASTY CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Kiwa

Chunk of Devon Steak Pasty

Chunk of Devon

DESSERT PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Benton’s Estate Agents

Dark Cheery & Sweet Pastry Pie

Billington Foodservice

PUB PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Nelsons For Cartons & Packaging

The Bell’s Bourguignon Pie

The Bell Pie Shop

SPORTS PIE CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by Melton Mowbray Company Ltd

Steak & Ale Pie

Morecombe FC

FISH & CHIP SHOP PIE CHAMPION 2019

Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association

Steak & Scale Ale

The Cods Scallops

FREE FORM CHAMPION 2019

Sponsored by The Pastry Room

Gluten Free Dartmoor Steak & Stilton Pie

Passion for Pie