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This year’s Love Lamb Week (1-7 September) has marked the return of two hotly contested industry competitions.

Butchers across the country are set to battle it out to win the prestigious title of Scotch Lamb PGI Butcher of the Year. Any butcher who stocks Scotch Lamb PGI is being encouraged to enter their most original and delicious Scotch Lamb products, from marinated cuts to burgers and sausages, pies, and ready meals.

The products will be judged by representatives from The Scottish Chefs, who will be looking at areas including skill, passion and pride in selling Scotch Lamb PGI.

The butchers will be hoping to follow the success of Scotch Lamb Butcher of the Year 2018 Crombies of Edinburgh, with owner Sandy Crombie “absolutely delighted” after taking home the top accolade.

Meanwhile, chefs will be raising the ‘steaks’ as part of the Scotch Lamb PGI Surf ‘n’ Turf Chef of the Year competition, which is open to members of Quality Meat Scotland’s Scotch Beef Club and/or members of the Scottish Chefs Federation.

Contestants are invited to submit their ultimate Surf ‘n’ Turf recipe that showcases the versatility of Scotch Lamb PGI with Scottish seafood, alongside two photographs of the finished dish to info@qmscotland.co.uk by Monday 14th October.

The six best entries will then be selected by judges from the Scottish Chefs, Seafood Scotland and the National Sheep Association, who will be looking for the hero ingredients to be championed through skill, innovation and exceptional taste.

Last year’s champion dish came from Ross Cochrane, head chef of the Rothesay Rooms in Ballater, who served seared Scotch Lamb PGI with shallot, roast corn, pannise, Isle of Mull scallops, young veg, lamb cheek and jus.

Claire Higgs, Communications and PR Manager from Quality Meat Scotland said: “Both competitions will champion different members of the supply chain to showcase the exceptional cuts of Scotch Lamb and value-added products available for consumers to try at home, as well as restaurant-quality innovations that introduce lamb as an alternative ingredient to a surf ‘n’ turf dish.

“Throughout the competitions, judges will be seeking to discover butchers and chefs that are passionate about Scotch Lamb and show real innovation, enthusiasm and commitment to a quality ingredient which truly is a cut above the rest.

“Good luck to everyone who plans to enter and we look forward to hearing the results on the 4 November.”

The winners of both competitions will be announced at the annual Scottish Chef’s Conference on Monday 4 November at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).

The competitions come as Quality Meat Scotland prepares to relaunch its award-winning ‘Scotch Lamb, Naturally’ campaign, which will inspire and encourage consumers in Scotland to seek out lamb as a tasty, quick and simple meal through an integrated approach of traditional and digital advertising activity. 

For more information on Scotch Lamb PGI, including recipes, videos and tips, visit www.scotchkitchen.com or follow Scotch Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.