Lishman’s and Tempus top British Charcuterie Live
Yorkshire butcher Lishman’s of Ilkley and charcutier Tempus Foods have cemented their place at the cutting edge of artisan cured meats by taking the top titles in this year’s British Charcuterie Live Awards (BCLAs).
Last year’s overall ‘best producer’ winner, Tempus, picked up the Champion of Champion Product title at this year’s awards – staged on August 1st at BBC Countryfile Live Show, in the grounds of Blenheim Palace – for its spicy Achari salami.
And Lishman’s, which was last year’s overall winner at the rival British Cured Meat Awards, took the Champion of Champion Producer title for its overall performance, with three high-scoring products: smoked dry cured streaky bacon, beef and red wine pepperoni and York air dried ham.
The awards were staged in the British Charcuterie Live Tent at the BBC show, with a team of judges assessing 59 gold, silver and bronze award winners selected from among 450 entries in first-round judging earlier this summer.
This year’s BCLAs included three new “star awards”, chosen from across eight product classes. They are Best New Product (new to market since September 2018), won by Duchy Charcuterie for its Spalla; Best Game Product, won by Great Glen for its multi-award winning green pepper venison salami; and Home Grown (best product from producers’ own livestock), won by Ludlow Farm Shop with its Gloucester Old Spot garlic and fennel salami. Tempus founders Dhruv Baker and Tom Whitaker – who earlier this year were named overall champions at the 2019 British Cured Meat Awards – also saw their Achari salami take the traditional and heritage award at the BCLAs.
The final judges at Blenheim Palace included head judge John Gower, restaurateur and chef Ben Tish, Monika Linton of Brindisa, charcuterie maker and tutor Rich Summers, Michela Pagano of The Fine Cheese Co and Shane Holland of Slow Food UK.
The number of medal winners for 2019 was less than in the inaugural BCLAs held last year where over 100 medals were given out. But according to awards founder 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.
“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.”