An Inverurie butcher has kicked off the year with a duo of glittering honours in the latest round of national industry awards.
Davidsons Specialist Butchers, former Scottish Butchers Shop of the Year, secured two Gold Awards for its innovative and delicious haggis and pork-based products.
They were winners in the Scottish Craft Butchers Haggis and Pork Products Awards 2019.
Winning recipes included a pork chop stuffed with parsley, red chilli and apple butter and a Blaggis Wellington – both judged to be among the best in Scotland.
Owner John Davidson said the honours were the result of a “team effort” and praised his staff for their creativity and attention to detail.
He said: “It’s difficult to come up with products that are completely new, but our team keeps looking at different ways to present our products and these two dishes are the result of exhaustive testing and tasting to ensure we get them just right.
“Our loyal customers are our ultimate judges and they have given the thumbs up to these dishes which we think are both different and delicious.”
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Mr Davidson has been in the meat trade since he was 16-years-old, starting at the local abattoir before moving into the sales and wholesale side of the business.
He then decided to try his hand at retail, taking over Davidsons in his home town of Inverurie and adding Royan of Elgin and a concession shop in Dobbies Garden Centre, Aberdeen, to the business.
Davidsons now employs about 50 people in the north-east and has a thriving online sales department.
Mr Davidson added: “Doing well in the Scottish Craft Butchers evaluations means a lot to us.
“We all get involved in devising, producing and perfecting our products and we can all share in their success.”
Around 60 butchers from all over Scotland submitted a wide variety of handcrafted products which were judged in one of the industry’s most keenly contested awards.
Douglas Scott, chief executive of Scottish Craft Butchers, said judges had been “blown away” by the innovation and tastiness of the entries.
He said: “2019 is The Year Of The Haggis and we wanted to encourage butchers to offer their customers delicious alternatives for their Burns Supper feast and for the remainder of the year.
“Scotland’s butchers from the Moray Firth to the Solway Firth have risen to that challenge magnificently and shown the versatility of haggis.
“Judges were impressed by just how novel some of the highly rated products were and they will, without a doubt, see haggis on the menu for many households throughout this entire year.
“These awards show customers just what a high standard their local butcher sets.”