The Stonegate Pub Company has announced the finalists of its Great Traditional Pie Competition, one of the company’s most eagerly anticipated events.

Each year, 143 pubs within the Great Traditional Pubs business segment are invited to put forward pies, sweet or savoury, which are sampled by a panel of judges to see if their creations make the judges’ mouths water.

The winning pie will then be manufactured by Dunkley’s at their bakery in Wellingborough and will take pride of place on the Spring Summer menus across the company which launch in April.

The shortlisted entries include:
• Goats Cheese and Caramelised Red Onion Pie by Danielle Pearson at the Oxford in Manchester
• Vegetarian Traditional Farmhouse Pie by Claire Pickard at the George Wallis in Wolverhampton
• The All-Day Breakfast by Richard Seam at the Hyde Park in Leeds
• The Curry Lover’s Pie by Ruth Armstrong at the Akenside Traders in Newcastle upon Tyne
• Four and Twenty Blackberry Pie by Sarah Hannell at the Lost Hour in Greenwich
• Spring Lamb and Country Vegetable Pie by Sarah Hawkshaw at the Minster Tavern in Ely
• Shorty’s Minted Lamb Crust by Brody Keeton at the Major Oak in Nottingham
• Corned Beef, Leek and Potato Pie by Dave Alebon at the Brasshouse in Birmingham
• The Great British Roast Dinner Pie by Keiron Wright at the Percy Lambert in Weybridge
• Spicy Root Vegetable Pie by Hannah Thurlow at the Adelphi in Preston

Judging will take place at the end of this month at Stonegate’s development centre in Birmingham, known as Albert’s Academy. In addition to having their pie on menus across the estate, the winner will be presented with the coveted Stonegate Pub Company Pie trophy along with a bottle of bubbly, a dinner for two at a top restaurant and an overnight stay in a city of their choice.

Last year, the award for the perfect pie went to Keiron Wright, chef at the Percy Lambert in Weybridge who wowed the judges including Stonegate’s Chief Executive, Toby Smith, with his Boozy Beef Pie. Keiron has once again been shortlisted for the competition and hopes to retain the title for a second year.

The competition now in its fourth year, called for entries in October. Area managers initially sampled the entries and shortlisted according to taste, appearance and commercial appeal.

The chefs and pub managers who have made it to the shortlist have been awarded £100 to reward them for their pie making abilities.

Ruth Turner, Marketing Manager for Great Traditional Pubs said: “The Great Traditional Pie Competition always generates a lot of interest from the teams within the pubs who always produce some great tasting pies.
“The selection this year looks like the competition could be very close. One of the best things about this competition is that we get to showcase the talent and skills of our team members through the inclusion of their pie on our menus. May the best pie maker win!”