Butcher’s burgers and dijons bag gold gongs

Smithfield Awards presenter Matthew Fort, left, with gold-award winning Alnwick butcher Mark Turnbull
Smithfield Awards presenter Matthew Fort, left, with gold-award winning Alnwick butcher Mark Turnbull

A Northumberland butcher has struck gold in the prestigious Smithfield Awards.

Turnbull’s of Alnwick, based in Market Street, clinched two golds with its beef and caramelised onion burgers and chicken dijons.

And tomorrow, you will get the chance to judge the quality for yourself as we give away some of the award-winning burgers and dijons on Facebook and Twitter. All you have to do is like us (www.facebook.com/nlandgazette) or follow us (@alnwickgazette) and then like of retweet the posts that will appear at 9am to be in with a chance of winning.

Owner Mark Turnbull North East regional chairman and national vice-chairman of the Q Guild, which represents the highest quality butchers and independent meat retailers in the UK and runs the awards.

A total of 479 products from 54 Q butchers nationwide, virtually half of the national membership, were entered for the eight categories in this year’s awards, the annual national product evaluation competition. They were judged by independent panels of food and meat industry experts.

Awards were announced and presented on Thursday at the Butchers Hall in Smithfield, London, ancestral home of the Q Guild, by Matthew Fort, food and drink editor at the Guardian for over a decade, author of several award-winning books on food, and expert judge on the popular TV series, The Great British Menu.

Mr Fort said: “I’ve admired butchers all my life. There’s something about the skill, watching butchers break up a carcass with their calm assurance – it’s like watching a magician at work.

“It’s like the finest theatre – the knife coming down, even sharpening the knife, the noise and the crunch when the cleaver comes down with such precision. To someone like me, this is absolute magic.

“I’ve spent many hours watching butchers going about their business and every time there’s something to be learnt. I’ve never had a serious conversation with a butcher where I haven’t learned something.

“I think the future can be extremely positive for Q Guild butchers; the emphasis on quality, precision and wisdom – you can’t put too high a price on that.”

Q Guild national chairman, West Yorkshire butcher Brindon Addy, said: “Smithfield Awards are among the meat industry’s most esteemed and cherished accolades, recognising and rewarding both product quality and innovation, at the same time reflecting the skills continually demonstrated by our members – Great British butchers one and all.”