Butcher and farm awards have meaty prizes

TWO meaty prizes have been awarded to businesses in the Great Dunmow area after they achieved high praise in separate taste awards.

Firstly, staff at Great Garnetts Farm are celebrating after winning the prestigious Great Taste awards for a third year running.

Often referred to as the Oscars of the food industry, the awards organised by the Guild of Fine Food, were presented to the family-run farm with two gold stars.

Julie Smith heads up operations at the farm near to Barnston and said: “We have done it again! And we are so proud to have been awarded two gold stars for our delicious pork.

“The awards judging standards, devised by the Guild of Fine Food, are the most rigorous in the UK, with each entry being blind tasted by at least three different teams of experts.

“It is an excellent achievement for a small farm like ours, we see it as a reflection of the team’s dedication to producing top quality food.

“The word is spreading about how good our products really are – we are now supplying our pork to some of the most discerning outlets including Marcus Wareing’s fantastic London restaurant”.

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Don’t miss the Garnetts Christmas Farmer’s Market on November 13 running from 9.30am until 12.30pm. Foods and craft gifts galore will be on offer – perfect for Christmas shopping.


Elsewhere, Priors Hall Ltd, located just north of Dunmow, also had success – in the shape of a champion award for their meat products.

More than 60 products were put forward by butchers in Essex for the BPEX product evaluation, which took place at the Manor of Groves Hotel in Sawbridgeworth on October 20.

Priors Hall came out on top in the Home Cured Bacon category.

James Menhinick, who runs the family farm with his brother Richard, said: “Usually at this time of year we are drilling the ground and getting our arable part of the business ready for next year, so we are always tied up with that and unable to enter.

“However, this year I unusually had a free afternoon so I decided to take some product along for the first time to see how we would get on, and what a result – we are really thrilled.

“All of our bacon is wet cured using our own secret brine recipe, and then it’s hung for six days to remove any excess water.

“We find wet curing gives a wonderful flavour and hanging it means you don’t get any frothy white stuff when it’s cooking.”

BPEX butchery and product development manager Keith Fisher added: “It was certainly a successful occasion and we congratulate them.

“Each product entered into the event is independently evaluated on its own merits, so when you consider that over 90 per cent of entrants achieved an award this time around; it really demonstrates the level of quality and skill of butchers and farm shops in the region.”

The events is organised by BPEX and recognises product excellence and innovation.

Judges test for overall appearance, size and colour, ease of cutting, texture and structure, and most importantly taste and smell.