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WeeCOOK Comes Up Big at British Pie Awards

A Scottish restaurant and café has triumphed once more at the British Pie Awards, retaining the title of the Best Fish Pie in the UK for the third year running.

This year’s competition saw a record 147 judges come together in search of the country’s best bakes across a range of categories from hearty pub pies to vegetarian pastries.

The awards were held in Melton Mowbray, the Rural Capital of Food, and hosted by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association.

Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the Melton Pork Pie Association and host of the awards, said: “These awards celebrate the expert skill of British pie makers across the nation, and we have been blown away with the level of pie craftsmanship coming through this year.

“It’s been interesting to see the uptake with our new category, too, Fusion Pies. From Greek-inspired Feta and Greens Filo to White Chocolate, Pear and Creme Brulee concoctions, the creative flair of 2024’s awards has made it a very enjoyable year.”

The British Pie Awards were first established in 2009, aiming to ‘celebrate the heritage of the British pie, protect and promote regional specialities, recognise the craft of bakers, butchers and other producers and support British produce’.

The only Scottish entry to receive a coveted trophy and title win at this year’s event was WeeCOOk from Carnoustie in Angus, a cafe and restaurant known for marrying ‘traditional and modern Scottish cooking’ using locally or sourced ingredients and produce.

For the third year running, the team’s Fishwife Pie, made with haddock, salmon, Arbroath Smokies and a ‘secret family sauce’, was crowned as the winner of the Fish Pie Class.

This year a further three WeeCOOK pies, including the popular MacCHOOK made with haggis with chicken and bacon, also gained judges medals for quality at the British Pie Awards.

Adding yet more cause for celebration, sous chef Ethan O’Hare was announced as the British Champion Young Pie Maker of the Year.

A team member said: “This is an amazing achievement for the WeeCOOK chef who is a great role model for other young people within the Scottish hospitality and baking sectors.

“Plus, it’s superb recognition for WeeCOOK and Scotland as this is the third time a Scottish WeeCOOK apprentice has won the Young Pie Maker of the Year award.

“We’ve been making our pies for over six years now and although we know our regulars, local and farmers market customers love them, it’s nice to get recognition from national awards for the quality of what we produce.”

The British Pie Awards is open to all producers of pies sold commercially in the UK including pie makers, butchers, bakers, cafes, pubs, restaurants, sports clubs and those who exhibit at shows or markets.

Taking place during National Pie Week, a champion is chosen in each of the 24 classes and awarded a trophy and certificate before going on to compete once more for the title of ‘Supreme Champion’.

The overall winner of this year’s awards selected as the ‘Pie of Pies’ was a Minted Wensleydale Lamb and Potato Pie made by Middleton-In-Teesdale Fish and Chip Shop Ltd in County Durham.

Judges described the supreme champion as ‘a come and eat me pie’ and said that its pastry ‘is a poem, perfectly seasoned and wonderfully flakey’.

While only one Scottish business was included in this year’s list of winners, the 2023 competition saw Bathgate’s Boghall Butchers named as the Dessert Pie class winners with their Traditional Bramley Apple pie.

WeeCOOK pies, including the award-winning Fishwife Pie, are available both at their restaurant and café in Carnoustie and at farmers’ markets across Scotland including Forfar, Montrose, Glasgow Partick, Carnoustie, Alyth, Arbroath and Bowhouse in Fife.

The Fishwife Pie was previously featured on the ITV Show Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh, resulting in sell-out success for the business as they rushed to keep up with customer demand.

 

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