This year saw the British Pie Awards introduce a Vegan Pie class for the first time ever, and it’s just scooped the top prize beating over 886 entries from pie makers, bakers and butchers from all over the country.
The curried sweet potato and butternut squash made by Jon Thorner’s butchers in Somerset was picked as Supreme Champion at the British Pie Awards held in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire and was described by the award organisers as “well deserving of the accolade”.
According to owner Mr Thorner, the company had been making meat pies for more than a decade before branching out “in an effort to make our pies more accessible”.
“We’re so thrilled at the level of success our vegan pie has had,” he said.
Speaking about the decision to award the vegan pie with the highest award, Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the British Pie Awards, said: “This year’s supreme champion was outstanding and well deserving of the accolade. From its very appearance on the judging tray, you knew it was going to do well and it didn’t disappoint when it was opened and tasted.
“This pie isn’t just for vegans, it’s a pie for everybody. With this award, we can truly say that veganism is now entering the mainstream of British food.”
Image credit: British Pie Awards/PA
However, the decision to award the vegan pie with the top spot has sparked outrage with a leading chef who has branded the butternut squash creation “a disgrace”.
Michelin-starred chef Richard Corrigan has criticised the competition, calling it “pie in the sky”. Speaking to the Telegraph, the chef who has cooked for the Queen twice, said: “Please, please I’m going to cry. Pies are supposed to be filled with the most delicious morsels of steak and liver and kidney, with the jelly and little pieces of fat in the middle delicately dripping onto your tongue.
“A vegan pie? Give me a break. The oldest culinary art form left in the world and the vegans have taken it away. It’s a disgrace. The millennials have taken over. It’s not a pie competition. It’s a pie in the sky competition. We should all just retire now.”
Image credit: Corrigan’s Mayfair
Despite Corrigans assertions that to make a good pie it must be “filled with delicious morsels of steak”, head judge Colin Woodhead praised the taste of the vegan pie saying: “There are a number of challenges to making a good vegan pie and this has cracked it.
“The pastry was exceptional with a crispness that complimented the filling.”
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