Bringing you all the glitz & glamour: James Pirie & Son crowned World Scotch Pie Champion for the fifth time

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Paul Long, MD Bako Northern and Scotland; Scotch Pie Champion Alan Pirie and TV presenter Carol Smillie. Pic: Scottish Bakers
Paul Long, MD Bako Northern and Scotland; Scotch Pie Champion Alan Pirie and TV presenter Carol Smillie. Pic: Scottish Bakers

Related tags Scottish Bakers Scotch pie James Pirie & Son World Scotch Pie Championships Bako

The small batch award-winning Blairgowrie butcher has done it again, effortlessly pushing away the competition with a Scotch Pie officially named best in the world.

Bakers, butchers and other pie makers donned their finest garb and gathered in Glasgow to celebrate one of Scotland’s most revered baked goods.

Organised by Scottish Bakers – the association that has for the past 131 years supported the interests of Scotland’s bakery trade – the mission of the annual competition is to shine a light on the exceptional skills these pie makers demonstrate day in and day out. In fact, Scottish Bakers CEO Lesley Cameron believes the Scotch pie belongs on the world stage.

“There is already a position for the Scotch pie as an exported product to different markets where you have expat communities: Scotch pies are synonymous as Scotch shortbread or whisky,” she told me.

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The glittering event held in Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld imbued all-out Scottish pride, with the iconic pie piped in and toasted before guests tucked in.

A Toast tae the Pie

Scotch Pie in flash Getty

Whether yer naked or filled wi’ beans / The price is aye within a bodie’s means / Your crust is firm but not too hard / It’s just the right balance of flour, salt and lard / The meat in the middle is spicy and braw / There's naithing tae beat it, naithin at ah! / You’re as Scottish as Bruce but you'll never die / Lads and Lassies, I gie ye The Pie.

(By Maurice Irvine, Irvine's Bakery)

Then it was down to the serious business.

Amid raucous applause, James Pirie & Son was again named World Champion.

The Newtyle butchery won the competition in 2018, 20202 and 2022, as well as taking the World Scotch Pie Champion of Champions title in 2021. Established in 1960 by James Pirie – who was the oldest working butcher in Britain before retiring at 87 – the family business was taken over by James’ son, Alan, who has continued the legacy of excellence.

Getting to the top spot is no mean feat, with each and every entry having to undergo intense scrutiny by a group of discerning judges. The winning products were deemed to be the best of the best when it came to taste, touch, appearance and smell across 10 categories.

“With nearly 500 of the best pies on the market entered by 78 of the best butchers, bakers and other pie makers and with each and every entry put to the test by 50 pie professionals who were looking for the ‘best of the best’, the annual winners should all be very proud,” said Cameron.

TV celeb and long-term pie award presenter Carol Smillie was also again on hand to present the awards.

“I am always delighted to present these awards, to meet so many faces old and new and of course, all those delicious pies. These bakers and butchers consistently provide such high quality and the new faces tell me that the sector continues to thrive and prosper with more professionals than ever throwing their hats into the ring. Well done to all our winners.”

BAKO Group was awards partner of the 24th​ annual World Championship Scotch Pie Awards. Carr’s Flour, Rondo, Fleming Howden, DMD 2000, Andrew Ingredients, Dalziel Group, Marshalls and Macphie were category sponsors.

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Full list of winners

Aulds Bakeries Limited                                                          Johnston Butchers

Bayne's the Family Bakers                                                     Keptie Bakery Ltd

Beefcake Cafe                                                                      Kinnaird Butcher Shop & Deli

Boghall Butchers                                                                  Macleans Highland Bakery Ltd

Brownings the Bakers Ltd                                                     Murrays Bakers

Bruce of the Broch                                                               Nevis Bakery

Cafev8                                                                                Pars Foods Ltd

Campbell’s Bakery Ltd                                                          Pastel

Christie the Baker                                                                Peter’s Bakery

Cooper Quality Butcher Limited                                             Pie Aroma

D H Robertson                                                                     Pie Sports

David at Brownings                                                              S Collins & Son

David Cox Butchers                                                             Stephens Bakery

David Stein Butchers                                                           Strachan Craft Butchers

Dunbar Community Bakery                                                   Stuart’s Bakers & Butchers

Fisher & Donaldson                                                              Sugar and Spice

Goodfellows of Dundee Ltd                                                   TH Caron Butchers

Grazey Days                                                                       The Bread Guy

Hame Bakery                                                                      The Butchers Bakery

Hugh Black & Sons Ltd                                                         The Cumbrae Butcher

Irvines ltd                                                                           The Kandy Bar Bakery

J & H Cairns                                                                        The Little Bakery

James Aitken Butchers                                                         The Premium Bakery Ltd

James Chapman (Butchers) Ltd                                             Tom Courts Quality Foods Ltd

James Pirie & Son                                                                WF Stark

JG Ross Bakers                                                                    WeeCOOK

JM Bakery                                                                           Wrights Butchers

John Gillespies & Sons Ltd

Showcase gallery

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Bako’s Paul Long; Susie Finlay, regional sales manager for Bako Northern Scotland; and Bako chairman David Yates

 

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Head judge Ian Nelson; John Quinn, ex MacPhies now retired; and McGhees director and Scottish Bakers president Ian McGhee
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Hayley Wilkes of WeeCook (centre) with Kirsty and Claire Devlin from Sugar & Spice
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Judges Dens Brown and Bill Montgomery
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Nick Kwek from Project X with judges Chris Marshall and Michael Black

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