Gavin Mitchell of Mitchell Meats, Drumlish pictured with the silverware that he won at the Association of Craft Butchers of Ireland National Awards.
Award-winning Drumlish butchers Mitchell Meats has come in for national acclaim once more, this time at this year’s Craft Butchers National Sausage and Pudding Competition.
Taking the plaudits was Gavin Mitchell, who was crowned Supreme Champion courtesy of his innovative black Pudding mixed with white pudding creation.
Upon receiving his accolade from Junior Minister Andrew Doyle at an awards ceremony at Kildare's K Club, Gavin put his award down to a combination of determination and hard work.
“I am thrilled with the win,” he said moments after his award was confirmed.
“Having perfected my sausage recipe, I decided to change my focus to puddings.
“I have been making black and white pudding in the shop for about two years now and recently decided to try to combine both puddings into one.
“After many weeks of failed attempts, I finally achieved a great tasting, combined black and white pudding.
“To take such a traditional recipe and turn it into an innovative award-winning product is a true reflection of the time and energy I have put into producing an excellent quality pudding.”
Judging was carried out at Teagasc Test Kitchens in Ashtown Food Research Centre by an independent trained sensory panel. The Association of Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI) had over 100 entries in the regional competition this year with less than half going through to the finals.
Organisers said the standard was much higher than previous years, making the competition tougher and the judging much more difficult.
“There’s a great deal of prestige in being crowned Supreme Champion,” said ACBI chief executive John Hickey.
“This is the trophy all butchers want and Gavin Mitchell has put his hands and heart into creating an innovative product that stole the judges taste buds this year.”
In a further indication of the esteem in which Gavin is held in Ireland's meat industry, the north Longford butcher also took home the runner-up spots in the white and black pudding categories and silver in the Traditional Sausage section.