Five out of five for 'delighted' butchers celebrating medal feast in food contest
A BUTCHER'S shop is celebrating after entering five categories in a competition – and winning an award in every one.
RG Chambers and Son, in Clarence Road, Normanton, had not entered any award contests for more than 20 years.
But after an impulsive decision, owner John Chambers decided to enter his sausages, pork pies and bacon into the British Pig Executive-sponsored competitions for British Meat products held at Stafford County Showground.
The 55-year-old said: "I joined the firm in 1975 as the third generation of my family to be in the trade.
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"We entered a competition in London in the 1980s but since then we have not really bothered with awards.
"But while we work for our customers primarily, sometimes you wonder how good you are and fancy going up against your peers.
"So to do as well as we have gives us a real confidence boost."
The shop, which is staffed by Mr Chambers and two other butchers, entered the home cured bacon, home cured gammon, traditional pork sausage, traditional pork pie and speciality sausage categories.
The judges awarded them one bronze medal, three silvers and a gold, with the top award going to their home cured bacon.
Mr Chambers said: "The judges had quite a few hours with the products and they judged it on flavour and palatability.
"The certificates point out the excellence of the products.
"We were just delighted with it, we were over the moon."
Mr Chambers explained why he thought the bacon had won the gold award.
He said: "I think it was because we cure it ourselves, which few butchers do. It is lean, which is what most people are looking for, and it has a good flavour from the cure.
"It is a two-week process, and everything we get is fresh from carcass, rather than through a third-party."
He said local butchers were still popular and relevant in Normanton.
He said: "Obviously, the competition in the supermarkets is strong but we can still provide a personal customer service.
"If someone wants just one or two rashers of bacon or a particular weight of meat, we can do that.
"And people come in just to chat, really, which you can't do in a supermarket."