I went along to the event and got the chance to talk sausage with Steve and Johnny from Nottingham's own JT Beedham's on Mansfield Road, Sherwod. This year they had entered a spring roll sausage inspired by the popularity of the food influences of Chinese takeaways. The recipe is a secret but includes ginger and soy sauce. As I spoke to Johnny my mouth was watering! I also took some time to speak to the butcher Steve and he told me about the practicalities of running the shop, the hard work put in to be an entrant for this nationwide competition and of their new and enthusiastic apprentice Sam. They really seem to look after and encourage their apprentices.
|some of the finalists in the sausage competition|
The judges were situated in a side room and had the task of sampling the cooked up sausages from all of the East Midlands finalists. The three judges were Simon Rimmer (Ambassador for British Sausage Week), Del Frith for The Orange Tree and Claire Holland of the BSW team.
Waiting with me for the result were butchers from across the region . I met Jim Sutcliffe from Meridian Meats of Louth - a very foodie town with no fewer than four butchers in the town centre, Sarah and Andy of Ringrose butchers of Broughton Astley in Leicestershire and Trevor Fairburn of Fairburn's in Louth.
The judging took a while and I managed to say a quick 'hello' to journalist Erik Petersen of the Nottingham Post. I hadn't met Eric before but he did a telephone interview with me when I was the face of Tesco's 'Love Every Mouthful' campaign and featured as the butcher in the tv adverts.
I had a busy day on with all of my food and theatre blogging and had to leave around four to go over to Derby to review the Balletboyz at Derby Theatre and I was keen to find out who the region final winner was. By the magic of Twitter the winner was shown to be Trevor Fairburn of Fairburn's butchers on Mercer Row in Louth. Well done Trevor and to all the other finalists for getting to the final with exemplary sausages and their passions for quality butchery. Trevor's sausage was a traditional Lincolnshire sausage mix.