2019-20 Scottish Haggis ChampionSunday, 12th May 2019
2019-2020 SCOTTISH HAGGIS CHAMPIONSHIP
sponsored by Grampian Oat Products
Champion: Tom Courts Quality Foods, Burntisland
Reserve Champion: McCaskies, Wemyss Bay
Third Place: Fraser Brothers, Dingwall
Burntisland butcher Tom Courts has been crowned Scottish Haggis Champion 2019. And, having secured what he described as "The Holy Grail" of industry honours, the popular Fife butcher revealed it was the title every butcher in Scotland coveted.
"It`s the best moment of my career," he said. "This is the big one. It`s the competition everyone wants to win. It`s absolutely brilliant to join that very exclusive club of Scottish Haggis Champions and I am thrilled to bits.
"In the Scottish food and drink sector people immediately think haggis and whisky," explained Tom. "I like to think I drink the best whisky and I now know I make the best haggis - it`s official!"
North of Scotland Champion: Fraser Brothers, Dingwall
East of Scotland Champion: Tom Courts Quality Foods, Burntisland
West of Scotland Champion: McCaskies, Wemyss Bay
South East Scotland Champion: John Saunderson, Edinburgh
South West Scotland Champion: Ballard Butchers’s Castle Douglas
The champion handmade haggis beat off stiff competition from over 70 butchers from all over Scotland to lift the fiercely contested national title at the Scottish Meat Trade Fair in Perth. Tom`s haggis lifted the East of Scotland regional title before going on to lift the national championship.
Using a recipe created by his father, Tom revealed there have been "a few tweaks" over the years to perfect the haggis that wowed the competition judges.
"One judge told me he knew it was a winner when he tasted it because he said he would be happy to eat it every day," said a delighted Tom. But the secret of the Championship winning recipe remains just that - a secret.
Above: Staff at Tom Courts, Matthew Falconer and John Day celebrate their win with Louise Harley from Grampian Oat Products.
"Haggis recipes are a closely guarded secret," said Tom, "and there are only two of us who can make this one. Now that we`ve lifted the Championship, the recipe will be even more carefully protected."
Tom`s delight at winning the ultimate accolade was tempered, however, with the recent loss of his 22-year-old nephew Calum who worked in the business beside him and whose funeral was only a few days before the contest.
"He would have been very proud," said Tom. "It`s the one prize that has eluded me until now and I want to dedicate it to Calum.
"It was also an honour my Dad always wanted and he was the first I told of our success. He was absolutely thrilled that we finally made it."
Tom Courts will hold the Scottish Haggis Championship title for the next two years.
Above: Alastair Milne from Grampian Oat Products presented the prizes to Scottish Champion Tom Courts, Reserve Champion: Nigel Ovens from McCaskies, Wemyss Bay and Third Place: Fraser Brothers, Dingwall
The contest that is held every second year attracted almost 100 entries which were firstly judged by region, and then the regional champions faced another tasting panel of experts to establish the overall winner.
The 2019-2020 Scottish Haggis Championships, sponsored by Grampian Oats Products were held in the Dewars Centre Perth as part of the Scottish Meat Trade Fair on Sunday 12th May 2019.
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