Phil Turner’s British Pie Week Diary

Monday 4th March

Big day for Turner’s Pies today! We’ve got the BBC film crew coming in film us making pies in the kitchen and selling them in our Broadwater store. They’re filming for a documentary on the British Pie Awards, which will be aired later this Summer.

We’re all feeling excited but nervous about the possibility of being on camera…it’s not our natural environment!

To add to the nerves I found out last week that Zoe Ball and her team want to talk to me on the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show this morning…Eek!

BBC radio 2 breakfast show
Our pies ready to be devoured by the Radio 2 Breakfast team

7:15am we’re live! We sent the breakfast show team a box of our pies, which they’ve thoroughly enjoyed…although they said it felt wrong to be eating pie for breakfast! I talked to Zoe for a few minutes about how we’ve got to where we are today, our family’s love of pies and how it feels to be the current reigning Supreme Champion.

It’s straight over to the kitchen to get ready for the arrival of the film crew.  They film us in the kitchen making the pies that we’ll be entering into the awards. These pies obviously need to be perfect so having the film crew there makes it even more nerve wracking!

BBC pie documentary
The BBC camera crew film us making our British Pie Week entries

Then we take the crew over to the Broadwater shop, where Mum, Dad and my wife Theresa are waiting for us as well as some of our more fame-hungry staff members! We get some footage of everyone outside of the shop then they film our usual shop happenings with my brother and store manager Joe and Lucy serving our lovely customers.

It’s a challenge trying to ‘act natural’ when you’ve got a big camera and microphone being pointed at you!


Tuesday

I’m up early for the 180-mile drive up to Melton Mowbray so that I can deliver our entry pies in person. 

British pie awards
Hand delivering our pies to be judged for the British Pie Awards
BBC Radio Leicester DJ Jimmy Carpenter sampling our pies

More media appearances today too…BBC Radio Leicester want to interview us and the BBC film crew are up here capturing highlights from the awards and want some more footage of us.

I arrive at the St Mary’s Church in Melton Mowbray where the judging goes on to hand deliver our pies, then it’s straight over to the BBC Leicester studios for our interview with Jimmy Carpenter (who is also going to be one of the judges tasting our pies tomorrow).


Wednesday

I spend most of the day at St Mary’s Church to witness the pie judging. There are at least 100 judges including some celebrities, media and big names from the world of pies, tasting nearly 900 of Britain’s best pies. There are numerous categories and the judges will today pick their favourite 3 in each class.

The atmosphere in the church while the judging gets underway is absolutely buzzing and the aroma of pies in here is incredible!


Thursday

We receive the news that once of our pies has been selected for the top 3 in its class! This mean we’re invited back to the awards lunch tomorrow where they will be serving our 2018 Supreme Champion winning Steak & Ale Pie.

I spend the afternoon exploring Melton Mowbray’s pie heritage with a trip to Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe – the oldest remaining bakers of authentic pork pies, and some shopping in the Pie Fest street market.


Friday

St mary's church melton mowbray
St Mary’s Church in Melton Mowbray decorated ready for the British Pie Awards lunch

It’s the day of the awards. The BBC camera crew are here to film us arriving at St Mary’s Church along with all the other top in class pie makers.

The church looks stunning and there is the delicious aroma of our Steak & Ale pies in the air. We sit down to enjoy the awards lunch and nervously await the presentation.








We’ve done it! We’re thrilled to win the class champion prize for our Steak & Mature Cheddar Pie. I’m presented with a trophy by Matthew O’Callaghan – the British Pie Awards chairman.

British pie awards winner
Collecting our Class Champion prize for our Steak & Mature Cheddar Pie
Congratulations to Jon Thorner Ltd for their Vegan Pie which won Supreme Champion

The prize for Supreme Champion goes to a vegan Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Pie, which we’re delighted about. Vegan and vegetarian pies are becoming more and more popular and this inspires us to expand our range to satisfy Britain’s vegan pie fans. 









And that’s a wrap…after a crazy and nerve-wracking week we return home to Bognor bringing with us another prestigious British Pie Awards Gold prize.

In the next few days we’ll be re-launching our award winning Steak & Mature Cheddar pie to the public. It will be available to buy in-store, to Click & Collect or to order online for home delivery. We hope you enjoy it as much as our judges did!