The North-east is set to be well-represented in a Scotch pie global competition, with two bakers and a butcher shortlisted for top gongs.
Bert Fowlie of Strichen, J&I Smith Bakers Ltd of Huntly and Chalmers Bakery of Bucksburn have all made the shortlist for the World Championship Scotch Pie Awards 2017.
A panel of 50 professional judges assessed entries on appearance, quality, consistency and taste at a judging day, with the three North-east firms among those impressing.
Alan Clarke, chief executive of Scottish Bakers, which manages the competition, said: “A total of 100 butchers and bakers entered 500 of their best products into 11 categories this year and the competition has been fierce.
“The World Championship Scotch Pie Awards is the only competition of its kind recognising excellence in the preparation of a perfect pie.
“The competition is now a regular fixture on the calendar as butchers and bakers throughout the land vie for pie supremacy and the boost to their business that always comes with such a sought-after title.”
Accolades on offer at the competition include best Scotch pie, football pies and savouries, macaroni pie, steak pie, sausage roll, cold savoury, hot savoury, vegetarian savoury, haggis savoury, bridie and apple pie.
The North-east finalists all spoke of their delight at making the cut.
Hebbie Fowlie, who owns Bert Fowlie Butcher, said: “It’s a big achievement for us, it’s such a high standard. The staff are very happy. It’s a very high-profile competition.”
Laura Cruickshank, office manager at Chalmers Bakery, Bucksburn, said: “We’re chuffed.
“Last year we won a golden award for our steak pie, bronze for our sausage roll and silver for our beef and black haggis pie.
“Out of all of the entries, to get picked is great.”
Richard Smith, operations manager at J&I Smith Bakers Ltd of Huntly, said: “Everyone is ecstatic.
“We’ve been shortlisted before but it’s a renowned competition so it’s quite an achievement to be shortlisted again.”