BUTCHERS from across Cheshire and North Wales took part in the Chester Food and Drink Sausage Competition.

The runners and riders were whittled down by a panel of judges after more than four hours of tasting sausages from 20 different butchers from across Cheshire and North Wales.

The finalists for the NoWFOOD, Chester Food and Drink Festival sausage competition have now been selected with the overall winner being selected at the Chester Food and Drink Festival on March 27.

Pictures by Simon Warburton / NWN Media 

Steve Vaughan of Vaughans Butchers in Penyfford, the three times previous winner of the contest as well as UK national sausage champion, was chairman of the judges.

He said: “This is the hottest competition yet with the standard of sausage-making in both the plain and flavoured category of the highest calibre anywhere in the world.

“When it comes to making sausages we, in Cheshire and North Wales, bow to no one as our results nationally show. This is a rigorous blind tasting with 10 judges and the three finalists in each category now have their work cut out to be named the 2016 champion at the festival”.

The NoWFOOD Centre at the University of Chester, with its ‘state of the art’ cooking facilities, provided the venue for the final judging.

The three finalists in the plain sausage category are:

The Hollies, TarporleyOakbank Farm, BackfordEdges Butchers in Handbridge

And the three finalists in the flavoured sausage category are:

Cottam Foods of Widnes with their cracked black pepper sausageDavid Joinson of Chester Market with his pork & jalapeno flavoured sausagePen y Lan Pork of Pen y Lan with their Moroccan flavoured sausage.

Sausages were judged on their appearance, texture and finally taste with marks awarded by all the judges.

The finalists will be judged by the first 40 people who turn up at the Food and Drink Festival demo kitchen on Sunday March 27 at 10am to see the sausage final where marks will again be awarded to discover the plain and flavoured sausage champs and then the overall NoWFOOD Sausage of the Festival 2016.

The NoWFOOD sausage competition is part of the Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival staged at Easter at the Chester Racecourse.

For more information about the competition and the festival go to www.chester foodanddrink.co.uk