Oakham pie makers proved they have the recipe for success by picking up accolades in a national competition held in Melton Mowbray.
Leeson’s Butchers beat of competition from the likes of Leicester-based, Walkers Pies, whose pies are sold in national supermarkets such as Waitrose, to win the ‘Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Champion’ category at the British Pie Awards last week.
Steve Leeson, joint owner of Leeson’s with his wife Andrea, said: “I though it was a done deal that Walkers would have won it - I never thought for a minute we would win it.”
Steve believes his pork pie outshone other entrants because the butcher’s quality control is easier to manage when it’s a small business.
“We are a small business, the same person that bones the meat out [removing the meat from the bone] is the same person making the pie meat,” Steve explained.
Also flying the flag for Oakham in the competition was the Rutland Pie Company, which picked up a silver, bronze and commended rating for their pies.
The Rutland Pie Company’s rhubarb with mixed berry pie was giving a highly commended rating in the final of the ‘Dessert Pie Champion’ category. It also claimed a silver for its ‘venison mixed game hot pie’ and a bronze for its ‘traditional pork pie’.
A delighted Ian Curtis, owner of the shop, said: “We are only a small producer, there were a lot of big companies who can afford to enter a lot of categories - we are pretty chuffed to pick up three awards out of five we entered.”
Pies were scrutinized by a panel of judges,
Leeson’s can sell up to 1,000 of its Melton Mowbray pork pies a week and also won the People’s Choice award at the PieFest competition in the town last year.