Country Harvest owner Mike Clark presents Sue Seddon, of Lancaster, with her trophy after her steak and kidney pie won the Ingleborough Pie Challenge.
ALL eyes were on the pies at an Ingleton Food Hall at the weekend.
Country Harvest on the A65 held its first ever Festival of Pies, with free tastings and pie-related competitions. On the Saturday, a pie tasting panel, sponsored by Hawkshead Relish and Wessex Mill Flours, had an international flavour – and that was just the tasters. Janie Holmes had flown in from France to help with the tasting, but she did admit it was also partly to see her daughter studying in Leeds. “Living in France with all the beautiful cuisine, but you can’t beat pie!” she said.
Four members of the Pie Panel; Janie Holmes, Dave Greenwood, James Wilson and Gareth Williamson who all decided County Harvest’s Steak, Pepper and Coffee pie was the best.
Others travelled from Bury, Barnoldswick, Haworth and Kendal. For more than an hour they tasted eight pies all made in the Country Harvest kitchen, including bestsellers like steak and onion – which one judge described as a “proper Desperate Dan pie, awesome chunks of meat” to new flavours. The outright winner was Coffee, Pepper and Beef Pie. Among the judges was James Wilson, who hasbeen tasting & judging pies (and sausages) since 2009. He said the winning pie was “sublime”.
Country Harvest also held a pie making competition, the Ingleborough Pie Challenge, which was won by Sue Seddon of Lancaster with her steak and kidney pie. She was presented with a trophy and £100 in cash; two runners-up including Vicki Rogerson, of Ingleton, received £50 each.
Pie maker Vicki Rogerson was away at a hen party, so her husband Mark and children Ellie, six, and Lola, three, dropped off the meat and potato pie which went on to win a £50 runners up prize.
Customers at Country Harvest, a combined Food Hall/Coffee Shop and Christmas Cabin, also got to try more than a dozen new flavours of pie at a series of free tastings during the two-day Festival, from Black Pudding, Pork and Pear to Mediterranean Curried Vegetable with Feta.
Country Harvest Mike Clark said the event had been such a success he hopes to hold another one next year. “When I’ve reduced an inch or two off my waistline!” he said.
Lynne Cadzow and Michael Pickles, from Lancaster, popped in to the Festival to try some pies.