Pie Fest in Melton Mowbray

                                                                  Pie me!

Last Wednesday morning BBC Radio Leicester’s Ben Jackson and my fellow Radio Leicester Food Friday cook Penny, met at my cottage to prepare ourselves for a morning of pie eating. We had the enviable job of judging Best Pie in the first Melton Mowbray pie competition open to all the local pubs, cafes and restaurants. You can hear us eating and judging some of the pies on Ben’s show (about 1hr 41mins in).

Don’t we all looks so glamorous in our official pie eating garments?

It took over an hour to work our way through the pies that had made it onto the judging table and guided by Stephen Hallam, Melton Mowbray pie maker extraordinaire, we carefully analysed each pie on a number of strict criteria such as pastry thickness, texture of filling, amount of filling, quality of bake and of course flavour. Some pies that scored highly on one scored low on others and before the figures were added up for each one we really had no idea which one was going to win.

                                             Stephen Hallam and a couple of the pies

                                                        Penny and the winning pie

The winner turned out to be Miss B’s Tearooms Hedgerow pie that had a viennese pastry top and filled with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and elderflower. It was a cracking little pie and served with a big dollop of clotted cream it was quite frankly bloody lovely!

The pie competition was the warm up for the weekend’s Pie Fest which took over the town’s market place. I headed there on Saturday for a couple of hours in the sunshine to talk and eat pie…

Ian from Hartland Pies with his kickass Melton Mowbray pork pie topped with his very own chilli jam

Luckily I arrived just as the festival opened and headed to Hartland Pies for some breakfast. Their pork and black pudding pie was the perfect solution to my breakfast yearnings but I was totally blown away by his chilli jam topped Melton Mowbray. His pastry is just out of this world, he did tell me the secret but if I told you I would obviously have to kill you so you will just have to buy one and try and work it out yourself 🙂 They had sold out of pies just 2 hours later!


                         The lovely Louise from Miss B’s Tearoom with her trophy

Food historian Matthew O’Callaghan gave talks about the history of the pie

Stephen Hallam gave Melton Mowbray pie making demos outside his shop all weekend

                                                       How to hand raise a pie

                                                          Jazz and pies…nice

Gorgeous freehand sewing machine tea cosies made by Createry Studio

                             Hey ladies, how YOU doin’? Mark works his magic

It was an ace way to spend a couple of hours and I’m gutted I had to dash off as I really quite fancied an afternoon sat in the sunshine eating pies, drinking ale and listening to jazz, but then again there is always next year and after the success of this year I reckon it’s going to be bigger and better again.


9 thoughts on “Pie Fest in Melton Mowbray

  1. hillywillyworld says:

    Drooling over the sound of ‘Hedgerow pie’ next time I’m visiting my folks in Melton, I’ll be seeking one out, as well as my usual pork pies and cheese- lord knows what they make of my hand luggage at customs!!

  2. mamacookblogspot says:

    I found it really disappointing. Especially when you consider how great the weekly market is, Melton show, the country fair and the East Mids Food and Drink festival is AMAZING. It was the biggest damp squib since the agricultural show IMO but I am ever hopeful next year will be bigger and better.

    Melton has so many foodie events though which is a VERY cool thing indeed.

  3. HazyP says:

    My first thoughts when I got there was “is this it?” so I can see what you mean. I had such a lovely time talking food and eating pies that I very quickly forgot how small it was. The East Mids Food and Drink Fest is massive but sadly it charges HUGE amounts for stallholders so the small independent local businesses are shut out from exhibiting which is why it was so lovely to see the local food stands at Pie Fest doing so well. It was great to see an event being held in the town that supports the small independents and is open to all to come and enjoy it for free, we definitely need more events like this for the town.

  4. mamacookblogspot says:

    Oh I didn’t know that about the charges for the stands; a bit cheeky when you consider how much they charge for entry. I hope next year is bigger and better then. Brockleby was noticeable by their absence though which was a bit odd I thought?

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