Great Taste win is proof of the pudding for Maguire
A traditional Irish black pudding with an inspired twist has beaten a luxury line-up spanning sorbetto, cider, smoked trout and more to secure this year’s Great Taste Supreme Champion title.
Hugh Maguire Butchers of Co Meath took the 2017 award for an all-natural, fresh pigs’ blood pudding that it smokes over beechwood chippings for 45 minutes – a novel but harmonious combination described as “genius” by Great Taste judges.
First-generation butcher Hugh Maguire took inspiration from his travels in Europe before installing a smokehouse in his Ashbourne shop, where he now bills himself “the smokin’ butcher”.
It’s the fifth time in seven years that a butcher from the island of Ireland has taken the highest accolade in Great Taste.
Maguire collected the Supreme Champion trophy on Monday night (September 4) at the 2017 Golden Forks dinner at the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel – a new venue for the ceremony, which has outgrown its home at the Royal Garden Hotel.
In another change for this year, the Great Taste Shop of the Year award, sponsored by Hotel Indigo, has been expanded to cover two categories, delis and farm shops, with nominations coming from readers of delicious. magazine. A short-list of 11 stores were then mystery-shopped by Great Taste’s panel of retail judges.
The best deli trophy went to Sangita Tryner’s multi-award-winning Delilah Fine Foods in Nottingham, while The Gog near Cambridge – owned by the Bradford family, and previously known as Gog Magog Hills – was named best farm shop.
Another first for Great Taste saw two branches of the same family collect trophies on the same night. Bristol-based ice-cream maker Swoon was named Producer of the Year after taking four of the top 3-star awards for its gelati and sorbetto.
The Small Artisan Producer of the Year trophy went to Fortes Ice Cream of Swanage, Dorset, which picked up Great Taste awards for six of its flavours this year.
Both businesses are run by third-generation cousins from the Forte family, who brought gelato to south-west England in the 1920s.
A record-breaking 12,366 products were entered into Great Taste 2017, with over 500 critics, chefs, restaurateurs, retailers and food writers involved across five months of judging in Dorset, London and north Wales.
The panel who chose this year’s Golden Fork winners included writer and chef Gill Meller, BBC MasterChef judge Charles Campion, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen chef Zoe Adjonyoh, baker Tom Herbert and food columnist Martha Collison, as well as buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.