Shire butchers scoop pie awards

WINNERS: Darlene MacLeod displays the award winning pies of Strichen's Bert Fowlie butchers.
WINNERS: Darlene MacLeod displays the award winning pies of Strichen's Bert Fowlie butchers.

Butchers, bakers and pie makers gathered at Carnegie College on Thursday 5 January to discover who had the best pastry products in the country.

As 86 businesses from Bolton to Invergordon descended upon the college, a panel of 20 industry experts tackling the task of choosing the winners from a selection of 400 products.

For quality North East butchers, it prove to be a good day.

Fraserburgh butchers Bruce of the Broch beat off strong competition to win gold for their smoked haddock pie, adding a bronze award for their bridies.

Meanwhile, Bert Fowlie of Strichen picked up three awards in the hot savoury products category.

Hebbie Fowlie, owner, collected a silver for the butchers’ smoked sausage quiche and two bronze awards for their festive-themed turkey, mealie and cranberry and steak and black pudding pies, respectively.

“It’s good to win awards like this for the business,” said Hebbie Fowlie.

“We’re in a rural location, so, when there is coverage of the shop picking up an award for its produce, it really entices people to travel out and give it a try.

“Hazel Thom deserves the credit for coming up with the turkey pie, as does Gary Craib for his smoked sausage quiche,” Mr Fowlie added.

Alistair Bruce, owner of Bruce of the Broch, said of the award:

“The smoked haddock pie has consistently performed well for us, so it’s good to see it win again.

“Two years ago it won best of show at the awards, so we seem to do well at these kind of things.

“Obviously, it’s good for the business to get publicity like this for the shop,” Mr Bruce added.