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New open class to be launched at Great Yorkshire competition

The annual gauntlet is being thrown down to meat men and women across Yorkshire, as the countdown commences to the county's yearly product evaluation highlight, the 26th Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage & Products Competition.  This year, it will feature a new open small pork pie class for the first time in the contest's history.

To be staged at Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford, on Sunday 16 November, the Great Yorkshire remains the UK's biggest and most prestigious regional meat trades competition, attracting entries from independent retail butchers, farm shops and bakers who make pies on their own premises.

Once again, there are three pork pie classes for traditional, stand and speciality cold eating pies, and three sausage classes - thin, thick and speciality.  Supreme champions and reserve supreme champions will be crowned from the two main pie and sausage classes, with the sausage champion also automatically qualifying for the national Champion of Champions sausage-making competition.  There are also standalone black pudding and beef burger competition classes, plus a 'New Kid on the Block' class for the best newcomer to encourage new blood to enter and gain valuable experience in the meat trades competition arena.

This year, for the first time ever, the Confederation of Yorkshire Butchers Councils has decided to introduce an open small pork pie class.  Confederation president, Keighley butcher Roy Dykes, explained: "This will be open to butchers, farm shops and bakers UK-wide, including Yorkshire.  Every year, more and more people from outside the county want to enter the Great Yorkshire because of the prestige it holds in our industry sector.  We have now opened it up to all-comers with the new traditional pork pie class and hope this innovation will not only enhance the appeal of the competition, but also give our own people something to think about!"

However, the winner of this new class will not qualify for the supreme pork pie championship, as this and the supreme champion sausage remain exclusively the domain of Yorkshire entrants.

The closing date for competition postal entries is Saturday 8 November, though entries are accepted until the morning of the contest itself.  Judging is by independent panels of food and meat industry aficionados, along with a number of guest adjudicators.

All championship, 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed class winners will receive individual trophies and Yorkshire Rose Award diplomas, with diplomas also presented to each finalist.

Mr Dykes said: "The Great Yorkshire remains one of the most stringent product evaluation tests in the land.  Feedback from industry experts not only helps entrants enhance their products, but also gain ideas for new ones. Principal prize winners benefit from publicity that more often than not gives a tremendous boost to sales of their award-winning products.  We are hoping for a record entry this year, particularly with the introduction of our new open class.

Mr Dykes also appealed for a bumper turnout at his annual president's dinner, which takes place on the evening of the competition at Cedar Court Hotel, when guests will include John Mettrick, president of the National Federation of Meat & Food Traders.

Full details of the 2014 competition, which is supported by a Trade Fair, and a downloadable entry form will be posted here in due course.  Details of sponsorship packages and trade stands can be obtained from competition co-ordinator and press officer Robin Moule, of Skipton-based Moule Media, on 01756 794027, email robin@moulemedia.com.

Keighley butcher Roy Dykes, new CYBC president
Competition judging in progress
Competition judging in progress
Emily Hofmann - 2013 supreme pork pie champion

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