Stamford butcher is among best in county

Gary Simpson at the award winning butchers  Simpsons at Stamford Garden Centre. EMN-161021-180821009
Gary Simpson at the award winning butchers Simpsons at Stamford Garden Centre. EMN-161021-180821009

A Stamford butcher has won the top medal at the prestigious Lincolnshire Poacher food competition.

The contest, which honours the best meat and bakery products in Lincolnshire, was held on October 13 at the Lincolnshire Showground.

The competition received 400 entries in a variety of classes, such as Lincolnshire sausage, pork pie, stuffed chine, haslet, steak pie, burger, bacon, sausage roll, speciality and gluten free sausages, speciality meat dishes, speciality vegetarian, speciality meat pie and Lincolnshire plum bread.

For each class there was a panel of judges who marked each product on merit, awarding gold, silver or bronze, with a class champion being chosen from the gold winners.

Overall Lincolnshire Butcher of the Year was won for the second consecutive time by Simpson’s butchers, which has a shop at Casterton Garden Centre in Stamford, as well as shops in Heckington, Sleaford and Spalding.

Owner Gary Simpson was delighted with the result.

He said: “We entered 20 products and ended up with 10 golds, eight silvers and two bronzes, as well as three class champions. Across the board we were very consistent.”

He won the speciality sausage class with a pork and apricot sausage, won the burger class with a beef and Stilton burger and his Mediterranean pork tenderloin won the speciality meat class.

Gary has also just returned from Australia as part of Team GB in the World Butchery Championships. One of Gary’s staff, James Taylor, of Rowston Fen, is in the final three of the UK Young Butcher of the Year and is training to represent the UK for the International Young Butcher of the Year contest in Austria.