Cranleigh butcher crowned champion

Robert Rawlings, of Rawlings butchers in Cranleigh, collected 28 awards at the South of England product awards.
Robert Rawlings, of Rawlings butchers in Cranleigh, collected 28 awards at the South of England product awards.
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A CRANLEIGH butcher is celebrating a slew of awards at a recent butcher roadshow held in West Sussex last week.

Rawlings of Cranleigh scooped a staggering 28 awards at the BPEX butcher roadshow and product evaluation event, held at the South of England Showground on March 21, drawing 40 butchers and 223 products.

Their innovative ‘Pork and Chicken Cushion’ led them to the top title of ‘Overall Champion’ after impressing judges in the Speciality Pork Product category.

Robert Rawlings said: “This is a great result for all our staff. Entering the events is a real team effort and everyone gets involved.

“The Pork and Chicken Cushion is something we’ve been making for a while. In fact, it is a product that we were champions with back in 1999. The version we produce today remains identical, which goes to show that good products stand the test of time. It takes a lot of skill and patience to get right but it’s worth it as the result is simply stunning – it’s the perfect dinner party dish and we sell it throughout the country.”

The butcher also wowed judges with their steak and kidney pies and haggis and black pudding pie.

Mr Rawlings added: “There are lots of steak and kidney pies but not many real puddings. It’s ready in just four minutes in the microwave, which is brilliant for customers looking for a quick and tasty meal.

“But we don’t just focus on the classics. We’re always looking for new ideas and the ‘Haggis and Black Pudding Pie’ is a perfect example. Initially created for pubs for Burns Night in January, we made some for sale in the shop and they flew off the shelves. It’s a pie that is full of flavour having been created with care, using good quality ingredients.”

The Product Evaluation Events are organised by BPEX and recognise and reward product excellence and innovation among butchers. The judges use the following criteria: overall appearance; size and colour; ease of cutting; texture and structure; and most importantly taste and smell.