Grab a pie-ce of the action: Last call for entries to find Britain’s best pies

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Is your pie the pie among pies in Britain? Pic: Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association
Is your pie the pie among pies in Britain? Pic: Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association

Related tags: British Pie Awards, Melton mowbray pork pie association

Entrants have until 5pm on Valentine’s Day (February 14) to submit entries for the 2020 British Pie Awards, hosted by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association.

The Awards – held during British Pie Week, running from March 2-8 – celebrates the nation’s passion for pies. Hot or cold, sweet or savoury, Brits eat around £1bn worth of them annually.

To create your master-pie-ce

This year marks the 12th​ anniversary of the hotly-contested competition, open to all those who make and sell pies commercially in the UK.

Entries may be any shape, but must consist of a filling that is totally encased in pastry and baked. Pies that have an open lattice topping, are fruit or potato topped, are samosas or fried will not be considered.

Entrants can submit their creations for any of the 23 pre-assigned classes, which range in those championing classic recipes like Beef & Ale and Steak & Kidney, to those catering to the increasing consumer preference towards alternative lifestyles like Free From and Vegan.

In fact, a vegan pie walked off with the highest award last year. A Vegan Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Pie, made by John Thornton from Somerset, was deemed the pie of all pies from  884 entered by 176 bakers, butchers and chefs.

Back by popular demand is the Fish & Chip Shop Pie class. If you believe you’ve got the best chippy pie in the land, the only stipulation is that it is already selling in Fish & Chip shops.

Weight restrictions vary depending on the class.

Wils your show-pie-ce be among the upper crust?

There will be a Champion in each of the classes who will receive a trophy and certificate. These Champions will then be put forward to compete for the title of Supreme Champion.

New for 2020 is the Best Newcomer Award – presented alongside the Best Young Piemaker and Small Producer Awards – which recognise those just starting out in the industry.

 “We have judged well over 9,000 pies since the Awards were first founded in 2009. During that time the quality and range of pies submitted have increased significantly; a tribute to the craft and skills of the British Pie Maker,”​ said Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association.

“Each year our panel of around 150 culinary experts and pie connoisseurs have the enviable task of judging entries from around the country, with many of the best pies going on to secure prestigious catering opportunities and national listings.

“This really is a platform where producers of all sizes can shine.”

Pie makers must enter online at www.britishpieawards.co.uk.

The 2020 Awards will be held on March 6 in Britain’s pork pie capital, Melton Mowbray, with judging taking place on March 4.

Full list of classes

Cold eating

  • Melton Mowbray Pork Pie
  • Pork Pie
  • Cold-Eating Savoury Pie
  • Pasty (savoury or sweet, or both)
  • Dessert Pie (including Bramley Apple Pie)

Hot eating

  • Steak & Kidney Pie
  • Beef & Any Flavour Combination Pie
  • Beef & Ale Pie
  • Beef & Cheese Pie
  • Meat & Potato Pie
  • Lamb Pie
  • Chicken Pie
  • Chicken & Vegetable/Herb Pie
  • Chicken With Other Meat Pie
  • Speciality Meat & Game Pie
  • Hot-Eating Savoury Pie
  • Fish Pie
  • Vegetarian Pie
  • Vegan Pie
  • Pub Pie
  • Sports Pie
  • Fish & Chip Shop Pie
  • Free From

All entries must be received ready baked and chilled to <8°C. In an effort to reduce waste, the organisers will only accept one pie per entry (except for Class 1, which calls for a pair). Different classes require different compliance with regulations.

See the Association's website​ for full details.

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