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Winners announced at the British Charcuterie Live Awards 2019

David Lishman of Lishman’s of Ilkley has been awarded Champion of Champions Producer and Dhruv Baker and Tom Whitaker from Tempus Foods have won Champion of Champions Product.

David Lishman of Lishman’s of Ilkley has been awarded Champion of Champions Producer for his smoked dry cured streaky bacon, beef and red wine pepperoni and York air dried ham, and Dhruv Baker and Tom Whitaker from Tempus Foods have won Champion of Champions Product for their Achari Salami at the British Charcuterie Live Awards 2019.

The finals were held in the British Charcuterie Live Tent at the BBC Countryfile Live Show, in the grounds of Blenheim Palace.

Over 450 products were entered into the awards, and after the preliminary judging held in June, 59 Gold, Silver and Bronze Award winners, across eight classes, were shortlisted for the finals, culminating in the Champion of Champions Product and Producer.

To add to these, this year there are three new Star Awards also chosen from the eight classes. They are Best New Product new to market since September 2018, won by Duchy Charcuterie for their Spalla,  Best Game Product won by Great Glen for their green pepper venison salami, and Home Grown - Best Product from Producers own Livestock  was won by the Ludlow Farm Shop with their Gloucester Old Spot garlic and fennel salami. The Traditional and Heritage Award went to Tempus Foods for the Achari Salami.

The finals judges included Head Judge John Gower; restaurateur and chef Ben Tish; Monika Linton of Brindisa; leading butcher David Lidgate; charcuterie maker and teacher Rich Summers, Michela Pagano of The Fine Cheese Co and Shane Holland of Slow Food UK.

All Medal Winning products are prominently displayed in the British Charcuterie Live Tent throughout the Show, enabling visitors to the Tent to admire the largest collection of British Charcuterie Products ever from the UK’s top makers.

As well as the display of medal winners, visitors to the Tent are also encouraged to follow a clever British Charcuterie Tasting Trail that leads to the makers.  There are free demonstrations from top butchers, food writers and charcuterie makers throughout the Show, and producers selling their charcuterie.

British Charcuterie Live also organised the first British charcuterie Producers Workshop, attended by 70 producers, which was held earlier today, with contributions from John Gower, Rich Summers and founder of British Charcuterie Live Henrietta Green, on ‘British Charcuterie, The Way Forward’.

The number of medal winners in the 2019 British Charcuterie Live Awards, is less than in the inaugural Awards held last year where over 100 medals were given out, but according Henrietta Green, this reflects the growing sophistication of the process: 

“Last year was our first year, and we were taken a little by surprise by the level of interest and number of entries into the Awards.

“The numbers were up this year, with 30 new producers entering, but with the benefit of experience, we’ve strengthened the judging process for 2019.  We allowed more time for our judges to consider and explore the products entered and made sure we all adhered to stricter parameters.  We tightened up the marking process – we want our Gold Medal and Best of Class winners to feel that they’ve won the British Charcuterie equivalent of a three Michelin star award.  Our bank of judges has also gained considerable expertise in the qualities in flavour, taste and texture we are looking for in great British charcuterie.

“And whilst we’re enjoying a greater number of excellent quality products being entered, there is some way to go for a number of makers who are not achieving the same level of progress when it comes to making and presenting charcuterie really well.  We’re still seeing some basic errors in texture, flavour and quality and even trimming,” she continues.

“We strongly believe that British Charcuterie has a great deal to offer – 25 years ago people laughed at the idea of a British cheese industry beyond bulk cheddar, and I am convinced that our cured meat products have the same future potential as our diverse cheeses are enjoying now.

“Through our awards and consumer and trade-facing activities, we are raising profile and influencing buying habits, and we feel that the UK, with its stronger standards of traceability, high welfare practices, focus on rare and traditional breeds and history in food innovations, can set our wonderful Charcuterie apart from its continental competitors,” concludes Green.

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