A BUTCHER from Wemyss Bay remains chieftain o’ the pudding race after claiming a coveted haggis award for the FOURTH consecutive year.
Nigel Ovens, of Mearns T McCaskie, claimed the sought-after ‘People’s Choice’ prize at the Oban Winter Festival on Sunday and also received the ‘Golden Haggis’ trophy, the recipient of which is determined by leading food industry judges.
It’s the second time McCaskie’s has completed the double and it remains the only butcher to do so.
The family-run business has secured six out of eight available awards at the competition since it started in 2014 – meaning Wemyss Bay is home to Scotland’s most decorated haggis.
Nigel said: “When I started working within the family business, I began to tweak our recipe into what it is today and I’m happy that it’s the best it can be. “It’s been winning awards since 2002 and I am thrilled to have won both of the country’s top awards for haggis this year. “We were up against the very best, and so these wins are really special. “I am proud of the whole team here at McCaskie’s and we look forward to future developments within the business.”
Nigel says he was particularly pleased to win the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for a fourth time as it is voted for by the public, who taste samples from the best haggis producers in the country before choosing their favourite.
He said: “It’s about keeping the standards up to ensure you beat the rest of the competition and this award proves that this is the haggis to beat.
“I’m delighted that I’ve developed a haggis that tickles all tastebuds.
“It has the right spice level and is very moreish. “At the end of the day, the judges are very important but there’s only two or three of them compared to around 150 people who choose the winner of the People’s Choice Award.”
The business was established by Nigel’s grandfather, Mearns T McCaskie, in 1935 and his mum, Elizabeth – daughter of the founder – still works at the Shore Road shop after 51 years.
McCaskie’s has evolved into a supplier of the finest meats and products to individuals, restaurants and the adjoining Seaview Cafe Bistro.
Source : GreenockTelegraph