Haming it up at awards night

by | Jul 29, 2022 | News

‘Insanely delicious’ meat and a second tasting leads to two butcheries announced as Supreme Winners in the 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Awards.

Warkworth Butchery has taken out New Zealand’s top bacon award with their dry cured middle bacon entry and Auckland’s Westmere Butchery has won New Zealand’s best ham award for their bone-in leg ham, reports Retail Meat NZ.

Warkworth Butchery has been a part of the local community since 1905, with current owners Rob and Renee taking over eight years ago and seeing the business go from strength to strength. Rob himself was awarded the winner of the 2020 Pure South Master Butcher of the Year Awards. Westmere Butchery, also well-known and popular in their local community, with owner David Rossiter having more than 45 years in the butchery business and a team of passionate, experienced butchers working onsite.

Rob Lees, owner of Warkworth Butchery says he’s stoked with his win. “Good meat comes from a good home, and time well spent and consistency is key to producing amazing products.”

Credit: Warkworth Butchery


Glenn McKeendry, of Westmere Butcher in Auckland says “it was a team effort to produce an award winning ham – time, patience and the right amount of cure are the key ingredients, and that effort has paid off tonight!”

After a three-year break, it was great to see the competition back up and running with more entries than ever before – almost 200 being received across seven bacon and two ham categories.

Judging took place over two days, with a team of butchers and culinary experts inspecting and sampling our country’s finest bacon and ham products, all produced from 100% New Zealand born and raised New Zealand pork. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in each of the bacon and ham categories. From here, all gold medal winners were re-judged against each other to then award the two Supreme Winners – Warkworth Butchery and Westmere Butchery.

Competition judge, Hannah Miller Childs said when choosing the winning ham it was largely about finding something with great smoky characteristics as well as good texture.

“You want it to be nice and meaty but still be moist and have enough fat content,” says Miller Childs.

The judges found picking the ham winner fairly easy as Westmere Butchery’s bone-in leg ham was “insanely delicious”.

In contrast to this the bacon was a very close competition, and the judges had to re-taste some of the products to ensure they picked the right one!

While bacon is arguably a favourite any time of year, the announcement of New Zealand’s top ham comes just in time to inspire Kiwi’s to host a mid-winter Christmas, with a glazed ham as the centre piece!

Retail Meat New Zealand

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