Search for the Pie Factor heats up
Four pie makers who believe their culinary creations are worthy of a pilgrimage will be seeking to tickle the taste buds of a baker’s dozen of judges next month (March 1).
Gloucester Cathedral’s competition to find an exclusive ‘Pilgrim’s Pie’ made from Gloucestershire’s finest local produce to serve in its coffee shop has attracted a large number of entries.
Soon four short-listed companies will be making their way to the Cathedral’s historic Parliament Suite to present their pies to a panel of distinguished judges headed by Gloucestershire’s only two-starred Michelin chef David Everitt-Matthias.
Others due to give their views include county food champion Rob Rees, BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Mark Hurrell, Mike Lowe from Cotswold Life, Ian Mean of The Citizen, the Dean of Gloucester Nicholas Bury and various representatives from the Cathedral.
The shortlisted companies come from Gloucester, Stroud, Cinderford and Bristol.
Farmhouse Deli, which has been trading in Gloucester for 40 years, has come up with three pies: farmhouse pork, apple and cider; farmhouse pork, ham, apple and cider and pork, black pudding and apple.
Each would use meat from Gloucestershire Old Spots Pigs and ingredients sourced from local orchards.
Stroud Pasty Company, set up in the Slad Valley four months ago, is proposing a pie made from hogget lamb, white beans, onion, garlic, herbs and honey roasted carrots.
For vegetarians it has created a “monk’s pie” using white beans and onion with spinach, nettles, fresh herbs and Single Gloucester cheese.
The company, which uses its own organic beef, lamb and vegetables along with flour from Shipton Mill, near Tetbury, and Netherend butter from the Forest of Dean, will be making pies that are triangular in shape to represent the Holy Trinity.
Ensor’s Butchers from Cinderford is putting forward a beef, vegetable and beer pie using produce sourced from Gloucestershire.
Bristol-based Pieminister, which has been operating since 2003, will be bringing along a steak and ale pie made from Herefordshire beef and Gloucestershire beer. They will also be serving up a pork and perry pie made from Gloucestershire Old Spots pork and perry brewed in the Wye Valley from apples grown in Gloucestershire.
Bairbre Lloyd from Gloucester Cathedral said many companies had put a lot of thought into their entries.
“We have been very impressed by the quality of the ideas put forward and we are eagerly looking forward to meeting representatives from the shortlisted companies and tasting their pies,” she said. “We are looking for a pie that will appeal to modern-day pilgrims from all over the world and we have assembled a panel of judges well qualified to help us choose the very best.”