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Britain’s best pie revealed: Barnard Castle fish and chip shop takes top gong in national awards – as Danny Dyer leads cockney campaign to give the classic dish protected status

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A Barnard Castle fish and chip shop has taken the award for best pie at at the 2024 British Pie Awards.

The competition comes as Danny Dyer has given his backing to a cockney campaign to give the classic dish protected status.

Hosted in Britain’s pork-pie capital Melton Mowbray, the awards saw Barnard Castle’s Middleton-In-Teesdale Fish & Chip Shop declared the Supreme Champion.

The local sensation has been serving customers in Barnard Castle since 1950, with husband and wife team David and Lydia Sumter taking the helm in 2012.

Their customer philosophy is ‘Only the best will do for you’, and the eatery is not only known for its delicious fish and chips, but also its handmade pies which Lydia has been making daily for the last 12 years. 

The awards, now in its 16th year, celebrate the nation’s most delicious pies – from the traditionally British to the tantalisingly innovative and totally whacky

Hosted in Britain's pork-pie capital Melton Mowbray, the awards saw Barnard Castle's Middleton-In-Teesdale Fish & Chip Shop (pictured) declared the Supreme Champion

Hosted in Britain’s pork-pie capital Melton Mowbray, the awards saw Barnard Castle’s Middleton-In-Teesdale Fish & Chip Shop (pictured) declared the Supreme Champion

The competition comes as Danny Dyer (pictured) has given his backing to a cockney campaign to give the classic dish protected status

The competition comes as Danny Dyer (pictured) has given his backing to a cockney campaign to give the classic dish protected status

The awards, now in its 16th year, celebrate the nation’s most delicious pies – from the traditionally British to the innovative and totally whacky. 

Following the awards, Cockneys are now calling for the East London classic Pie and Mash to be given protected status – just like Cornish Pasties or French Champagne.

Celebrity backers of the campaign include actor Danny Dyer and comedian Arthur Smith while David Beckham has boasted it is his favourite food. 

Caerphilly Cheese, Scotch Whisky and Welsh Lamb all benefit from Protected Geographical Indication and Londoners are demanding their favourite meal gets the same treatment. 

Former EastEnders star Danny Dyer said: ‘I love my Pie’n’Mash, and anyone who feels the same way, needs to do something to get the proper respect our grub deserves.’ 

Comedian Arthur Smith added: ‘Pie’n’Mash is more than just grub, but a way of life, a culture for ‘non-posh Londoners’… It’s about time it was recognised and given the same status as other Protected foods.’ 

Traditional pie with mashed potatoes and parsley liquor sauce

Traditional pie with mashed potatoes and parsley liquor sauce 

David Beckham has boasted pie and mash it is his favourite food

David Beckham has boasted pie and mash it is his favourite food

The contest recruited the most qualified pie connoisseurs to judge every single entry. A record 147 judges' were on the panel, with extensive industry experience between them.

The contest recruited the most qualified pie connoisseurs to judge every single entry. A record 147 judges’ were on the panel, with extensive industry experience between them.

Cockneys are now calling for the East London classic Pie and Mash to be given protected status - just like Cornish Pasties or French Champagne. Pictured: A judge inspects a pie

Cockneys are now calling for the East London classic Pie and Mash to be given protected status – just like Cornish Pasties or French Champagne. Pictured: A judge inspects a pie

Traditional Pie'n'Mash dish consists of a savoury pie filled with minced beef, mashed potatoes, served with a parsley liquor, which can also be accompanied by stewed jellied eels

Traditional Pie’n’Mash dish consists of a savoury pie filled with minced beef, mashed potatoes, served with a parsley liquor, which can also be accompanied by stewed jellied eels

Actress Emma Cooke, whose father ran a Pie’N’Mash shop said: ‘What makes Britain unique is its idiosyncrasies, its humour, its quirks and its traditions and what is more traditional than pie ‘n’ mash?’

‘Nothing is more satisfying than a freshly baked mince beef pie, fluffy mash and a generous helping of parsley sauce.. liquor! Now that’s tradition.

‘Generations were brought up on this hearty dish and the Cookes’ pie shop even kept serving Londoners through the Blitz! It deserves all the recognition it can get!’

Traditional Pie’n’Mash dish consists of a savoury pie filled with minced beef, mashed potatoes, served with a parsley liquor, which can also be accompanied by stewed jellied eels.

Although each pie shop has its own recipes and customs for making their pies, mash, and liquor, the Protected Status will serve to protect the traditional methods used and mark the cultural importance of the dish.

Over the years, a network of typically family-owned Pie’n’Mash shops has spread out from its inner London heartlands in the East End and South London across the South-East, in a region dubbed ‘Cockneydom’.

The competition comes as pie and mash was voted the nation’s fourth favourite dish last week. 

The British Pie Awards comprises 24 different classes or types of pie including traditional favourites as well as Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free Pies.

Stand-out winning pies in other categories included a tasty Wagyu Beef & Ale Pie by Martin’s in Shropshire and a Butternut Chilli & Vegan Cheese Pie concoction by Turner’s Pies in Chichester.

The pies are judged on all aspects, including filling, pastry and texture

The pies are judged on all aspects, including filling, pastry and texture

Traditional Pie'n'Mash dish consists of a savoury pie filled with minced beef, mashed potatoes, served with a parsley liquor, which can also be accompanied by stewed jellied eels. Pictured: A judge takes a bite of pie

Traditional Pie’n’Mash dish consists of a savoury pie filled with minced beef, mashed potatoes, served with a parsley liquor, which can also be accompanied by stewed jellied eels. Pictured: A judge takes a bite of pie

Celebrity backers of the campaign include actor Danny Dyer and comedian Arthur Smith (pictured)

Celebrity backers of the campaign include actor Danny Dyer and comedian Arthur Smith (pictured) 

The contest recruited the most qualified pie connoisseurs to judge every single entry. A record 147 judges’ were on the panel, with extensive industry experience between them. 

This year, the judging panel included representatives from the prestigious cookery school Cordon Bleu, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant and The Royal Chef as well as a plethora of chefs and pie experts.

Middleton-In-Teesdale Fish & Chip Shop’s award-winning pie initially competed – and won – against 35 other contenders in the hotly contested Lamb Pie category. 

After being highly commended by judges, who were also tasked with choosing one overall winner from all the winning entries, its Minted Wensleydale Lamb & Potato Pie was hailed as the best pie in Britain or ‘Pie of Pies’. 

It takes over the title of Supreme Champion from Leicestershire based Brockleby’s Pies, who smashed the competition in 2023 with its Moo & Blue Pie which became the first ever winner from the Free-From category. 

This year, the judging panel included representatives from the prestigious cookery schools

This year, the judging panel included representatives from the prestigious cookery schools 

This year's awards have also seen the introduction of a new category for Fusion Pie

This year’s awards have also seen the introduction of a new category for Fusion Pie

Pie experts entered in their droves, rustling up a delicious storm of global flavoured pie fillings including twists

Pie experts entered in their droves, rustling up a delicious storm of global flavoured pie fillings including twists

Stand-out winning pies in other categories included a tasty Wagyu Beef & Ale Pie by Martin’s in Shropshire and a Butternut Chilli & Vegan Cheese Pie concoction by Turner’s Pies in Chichester.

This year’s awards have also seen the introduction of a new category for Fusion Pie, which combines the British tradition of a fully enclosed pastry but with fillings based on flavour profiles from around the world. 

Pie experts entered in their droves, rustling up a delicious storm of global flavoured pie fillings including twists to popular takeaway favourites like a Chicken Katsu Pie, Duck Legs & Spring Onion in Hoisin Sauce Pie, and a Greek-inspired Feta & Greens Filo Pastry Pie. 

However, it was Pieminister’s Harissa & Chicken Pie that went on to make history, becoming the first ever winner for the Fusion Pie class.

Terry Carney of the National Pie’n’Mash Week campaign said: ‘If the Cornish can protect their pasties, and the Cumberlanders their sausages, why not the Cockneys with our Pie’n’Mash? All we are asking for is respect for our traditional food.

‘Pie’n’mash is more than something to eat when you’re Hank Marvin. It has a special place in Cockney culture and that’s why it needs protected status.

‘We invite Pie’n’Mash fans to support the campaign to get Protected Status, while also inviting ‘Pie’n’Mash virgins’, who’ve not tasted our wonderful grub, to give it a go during our national week of celebrations.’

2024 British Pie Awards full list of winners: 

Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Class: Tesco Melton Mowbray Pork Pie 440g by Samworths Savoury Pastry (Leicester)

Supreme Champion ‘Pie of Pies’: Lamb Pie Class: Minted Wensleydale Lamb & Potato by Middleton-In-Teesdale Fish & Chip Shop (Barnard Castle, Durham) 

Pork Pie Class: Pork Pie by AE.Chambers Ltd (Nottingham)

Cold Eating Savoury Pie Class: Robinsons of Stilton. Chicken and Ham Pie by Robinsons of Stilton Ltd (Peterborough)

Pastry Class: Chicken Bhaji Pasty by Proper Cornish Ltd (Cornwall)

Dessert Pie Class: Turner’s Dutch Apple Pie by Turner’s Pies Ltd (Chichester)

Steak & Kidney Pie Class: Measures Traditional Steak & Kidney Pie by Measures Butchers (Cambridgeshire)

Beef Pie Class: Pure South Beef & Peppercorn Sauce Pie by Fuud Ltd by FUUD Ltd (Leigh-On-Sea, Essex)

Beef & Alcohol Pie Class: Martins Wagyu Beef & Ale Pie by Martins (Shropshire)

Beef & Cheese Pie Class: The Crown signature steak & stilton pie by Stine Hospitality Ltd (Asfordby, Leicestershire)

Beef & Vegetable Pie Class: Ox Cheek & Shin of Beef w/ Root Vegetables by Mēs Pies And Wine (Brent, London)

Meat & Potato Pie Class: Turner’s Steak & Potato Pie by Turner’s Pies Ltd (Chichester)

Lamb Pie Class: Minted Wensleydale Lamb & Potato by Middleton-In-Teesdale Fish & Chip Shop (Barnard Castle)

Chicken, Chicken & Vegetable/Herb Pie Class: Chicken & Mushroom Pie by The Outdoor Pig Company (Alcester, Warwickshire)

Chicken with Other Meat Pie Class: Chicken Leek and Ham Hock Pie by Bowring Butchers (Nottingham)

Game & Speciality Meat Pie Class: Pheasant, Venison, Bacon, Black Pudding & Quail Egg Pie by The Bell Hotel & Pie Shop (Buckinghamshire)

Hot-Eating Savoury Pie Class: The Bell’s Christmas Pie by The Bell Hotel & Pie Shop (Buckinghamshire)

Fish Pie Class: WeeCOOK Fishwife Pie by WeeCOOK (Carnoustie in Angus, Scotland)

Vegetarian Pie Class: The Bell’s Sweet Potato, Spinach and Coconut Curry Pie by The Bell Hotel & Pie Shop (Buckinghamshire) 

Vegan Pie Class: Butternut Chilli & Vegan Cheese Pie by Turner’s Pies Ltd (Chichester)

Pub Pie Class: The Two Brewers Steak & Stilton Pie by Paul’s Proper British Pies (Buckinghamshire)

Sports Pie Class: Cheeky Beef & Fondant Potato by Paul’s Proper British Pies (Buckinghamshire)

Fish & Chip Shop Pie Class: Cheesy Potato & Onion Pie by The Cods Scallops (Nottingham)

Free From Pie Class: Italian Job (Melanzane Pie) by Kavanaghs (Oakham, Rutland)

Fusion Pie Class: Pieminister Harissa Chicken Pie by Pieminister (Bristol)

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