Friday 10 February 2017

Countdown to the British Pie Awards 2017

British Pie Awards 2015 Judges
Judges at the British Pie Awards, including Pierateer Sam

Now into its second year being held in the month of March rather than April - and in British Pie Week no less - the British Pie Awards are firmly etched in our pie calendar. Held in the heart of Pork Pie country, pie makers, pie enthusiasts and - most importantly - the pies themselves head to Melton Mowbray every year for the judging of up to 1,000 pies in just one day and to crown their supreme champion. Sadly this year marks the first year away from the beautiful St Mary’s Church, located in the heart of Melton Mowbray, while the church building undergoes renovation. However do not fear! An alternative location has been found nearby and we look forward to attending, with the judging taking place on Wednesday 8th March and the Award's Lunch taking place on Friday 10th March.

British Pie Awards 2014 - Church
This year due to renovations the British Pie
Awards will be held away from St Mary's Church!
This year will be an unusual one for us as for the first time since 2013 we won't be lending a hand to judge the over 800 pies sent in from across Britain and beyond. With Pierateers Rob, Sam and Tim all having judged numerous times before - and lets face it, with almost 600 pies rated on our pie blog we've had no shortage of pie judging outside the Awards - we have decided to give someone else a go and instead focus on providing insightful media analysis of the day with yet another "British Pie Awards - Live!" blog.

So following on from our "British Pie Awards 2016 - Live!" article last year and "British Pie Awards 2015 - Live!" the year before, on Wednesday 8th March we'll be joining around 100 judges and over 800 pies for a pie-filled day of photos, interviews and behind the scenes info!

This year's list of judges is set to include Food and Drink TV producer Andy Clarke, Channel 4's Felicity Spector and pie judging regular Xanthe Clay from the Daily Telegraph. In addition to this are friend of the blog Nik Speller, author Martin Tarbuck - who you may recall has written pie review book "Life of Pies" - and fellow football pie pundit Jonny Smith, who like us has featured in The Sun newspaper regarding football pies.

And while the British Pie Awards use a significantly different set of criteria to us, rather than the 7 Cs of pie rating that we have used to rate almost 600 pies on Pierate, there are very few pie experts they could call on with more ex-pie-rience than us when it comes to judging the pie-fect pie!

This isn't the first time we've attended the British Pie Awards! Oh no! Find out more in our other articles here:
Judges in 2016  |  Judges in 2015  |  Judges in 2014  |  Helpers in 2013

Pierate Rip Off Britain
Pierateer Rob on Rip Off Britain
Last year was another exciting year for Pierate at the British Pie Awards, with over 2,000 of you viewing our live blogging from the pie event of the year, our post-event review and preview articles.

This year it will just be Pierateer Rob in attendance, who you may recognise from TV shows "The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice" and "Rip Off Britain: Food".

So what have we got to look forward to at the British Pie Awards 2017?

Well... following the success of our Countdown to British Pie Week, here's our Countdown timer to the British Pie Awards 2017, happening on Wednesday 8th March at 11am!

Of course if you are a pie producer, you need to remember you only have until Wednesday 22nd February (extended from 17th) to make your application! This year the organisers have made it even easier to enter your pies with an online form available, so don't miss out on this fantastic way to promote your pies! (Who knows... it might lead to a review on our world leading pie review website, like our review of 2015 Supreme Champion Great North Pie Co!)

Regional Specials to be celebrated in 2017

Bridal Pies Review British Pie Awards 2015
The amazing Speciality Class "Bridal Pies"
at British Pie Awards 2015
We're looking forward to once again seeing what pie producers come up with in the Speciality Class, following an amazing selection of entries in the 2015 Speciality Class of Bridal Pies and some royally good pies in the "Pies Fit for the Queen" Speciality Class last year.

This year's Speciality Class is the Regional Pie, which organisers have deemed “a celebration of the magnificent traditional pies associated with different regions across Britain”. Think Shropshire Fidget Pie, Cornwall’s Stargazy Pie, Devon Squab Pie or, of course, the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie. This category is - perhaps after last year rather controversially - also open to pasties, as the British Pie Awards define a pie as "filling fully encased in pastry." You don't need to tell us that opens them up to offers of slices, beef wellingtons, steak and kidney puddings or even apple turnovers - we've been there, done that, got the t-shirt - but alas this is what the British Pie and Pasty Awards have deemed their definition to be and we respect that, even if we don't agree with it.

Will a pie once again reign supreme?

I'm sure it can't have escaped your attention if you heard anything about the British Pie Awards 2016 that a pasty won the supreme champion title. And if you saw anything on our blog or twitter feed you'll have spotted we were anything but quiet about our disapproval of a pasty even being allowed to enter - let alone win - the pie competition. One of the knock-on affects of this was that for the first time since 2013 we have not reviewed the BPA Supreme Champion, as we wouldn't touch a pasty with a barge pole!

Fast forward almost a year and it's fair to say we're still trying to get over it, but if anything it has made us even more passionate to share the love of the top rated pies that are produced and judged this year. Here's hoping pies can rightly make all the headlines at the British PIE Awards 2017!

And if you want a flavour of the British Pie Awards check out our interview with Andy Bates from 2015, who you will recognise from the Food Network TV Channel. Andy was compere of the British Pie Awards Lunch 2015, which involved announcing the class winners and handing out the trophies on results day. He's been involved with the Awards numerous times.

All that remains to be said is you won't be surprised to hear we will once again be covering the event and providing regular tweet updates from Melton Mowbray as we once again get involved in the greatest pie show on Earth, so check back on Wednesday 8th March for more pies than you can possibly imagine!


The Pierateers are on a mission to find the best pie they can and you can see a list of their pies rated so far in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find pies of a similar flavour on the Pies: Categorised page.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!

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