A local pie-maker has carried off two awards at the sixth annual British Pie Awards.
Great Horwood-based Pastilla Pies received a Silver Award for its Padbury Pork Pie in the hotly contested Pork Pie class of the awards, which took place in the pork pie ‘capital’ of Melton Mowbray last month.
The winning pie was among 825 pies created by professional bakers and butchers competing at this year’s event, organised and hosted by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association.
The company’s Adstock Pork Pie, with Stilton cheese and walnut, was recognised with a Bronze Award.
All the pies underwent a stringent judging process by 108 food experts and celebrity chefs led by Ian Nelson.
The panel, which included top food critic Charles Campio, food writer Xanthe Clay and TV chefs Rachel Green and Andy Bates, scored the pies on a range of criteria including appearance and texture and taste of both pastry and filling.
Pastilla Pies was founded about two years ago by Robert Fairbairn, a former journalist and publisher.
Mr Fairbairn told the Advertiser: “I was living in Spain before, and when I came back here one of the things I missed was pork pies.
“But I couldn’t find any nice ones and I thought, it can’t be that hard to make one.”
Mr Fairbairn now produces up to 600 pork pies a week from a commercial kitchen in Singleborough.
He makes the pies himself, taking on extra help if he gets very busy, and sells them locally at Winslow Farmers’ Market and Buckingham’s Artisan Market.
They are also stocked by Padbury Meats, Gary Smith Butchers in Winslow and Woodstocks Artisan Bakery in Stony Stratford.
Mr Fairbairn said: “It was a great surprise and a real honour to get these two awards.
“I am absolutely over the moon.
“It took a while to sink in.
“My internet is so bad, I wasn’t able to download all the results and I forgot all about it.
“Then last week in the mail these certificates arrived.”
Chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, Matthew O’Callaghan, said: “Congratulations go to all our winners, whose achievement this year is remarkable.
“Our aim is to recognise all the hard work, skill and passion of the nation’s pie makers and the judging panel and organisers were bowled over by the standard of entries.
“Thanks must go to all who entered this year’s awards. Together they have shown there is nothing humble about the British pie.”
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