Devizes butchers in running for UK burger title as gold standard maintained

Phil Jefferys, Paul Gilroy and Andy Cunliffe with their Star burgers (VS322) By Vicky Scipio

Phil Jefferys, Paul Gilroy and Andy Cunliffe with their Star burgers (VS322) By Vicky Scipio

First published in News by , Devizes area senior reporter

Devizes butchers Walter Rose & Son have again impressed judges of England’s Best Burger competition and are through to the final.

The butchers, in Sidmouth Street, have achieved a gold award for their Star burger, as they did when the competition was last held in 2012.

They are one of 23 companies to have made it through to the final, organised by industry body EBLEX.

There were a record number of entries and to achieve a gold award, burgers had to score between 95 and 100 points in the first round. The criteria for judging included the overall appearance of each burger both raw and cooked, size, fat content, texture, taste and smell.

Stephen Cook, owner of Walter Rose & Son which also has a shop in Trowbridge, said he was delighted.

“It’s quite an achievement for it to be recognised. We know it’s a good product and it really hits the spot. Customers who have tried it want it again,” he said.

At 6oz, the Star burger is bigger than the shop’s usual burgers and it first went on sale three years ago. The beef comes from Tim Johnson’s farm at Coulston, near Westbury, and the secret to its flavour is suet.

Mr Cook said: “Modern methods mean fat is being left out of a lot of manufactured products such as sausages and burgers, but the omission of fat means they tend to be lacking in flavour and juicyness. The Star burger has suet in it which gives it the succulence and flavour required.

“It’s a very basic burger, made of beef, suet, salt and pepper. It’s how a burger would have been made 30 or 40 years ago.”

In the final round of judging, which was due to take place yesterday, all the gold standard burgers will be subjected to further rigorous testing, after which winners will be determined for the four categories: independent butcher; multiple retailer; food service; and premium quality innovative burgers. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on June 4.

Competition organiser, Hugh Judd, EBLEX foodservice project manager, said: “Burger manufacturers across all the categories have really upped their game.”

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