On Monday 13th September Tim was invited to Paris to join in the launch of the 2011 Le Guide des Gourmands edited by the famous French food writer and broadcaster Elisabeth de Meurville and highly acclaimed chef Joel Robuchon. Each year “le Guide” acknowledges 12 artisan food producers who have been outstanding in their particular field – Chocolatier, fromages et beurre charcuterie etc and awards them the ultimate European accolade of Coq d’or. Past recipients of the award have in the main been from France, Italy and Spain. In 1999 Mary Quicke and her family received the Coq d’or for their traditional cheddar cheese and until this year remained the only British receiver of the award. We were delighted and pleasantly surprised when the Ginger Pig was chosen as an outstanding producer and retailer of beef and received Great Britain’s second ever Coq d’or award.
It was a doubly important honour for us at the Ginger Pig, firstly to be recognised but secondly recognised by the French who since the outbreaks of BSE and then foot and mouth have not looked on British Beef favourably. Leading chefs and food writers all agreed that the dry ageing process or hanging that the Ginger Pig practices enhances flavour. The awards ceremony was held in the spacious showrooms of the Moben Kitchen Designers opposite the Gare de Lyon in Paris where each show kitchen had been taken over by an artisan food producer. We tasted wonderful hams and salamis, exquisite patisserie, cheeses even rillets made from properly raised capons (no hormones). There were also some small wine producers and an exceptional maker of calvados.
We had sent over some of our mature beef foreribs which had been cooked in Mobens main kitchens and was met with a lot of praise. This years 12 Coq d’ors received their awards in Mobens Cookery School where Tim was also asked to join France’s Ros Bif Club made up of 1,500 European Chefs and Food Writers.