Meat Trade news
A Q Guild butcher in Surrey and a tv ‘Dragon’ are linking up to select a signature ‘Chertsey Sausage’ that will then be adopted by butchers nationwide to raise funds towards flood relief efforts across the south of England.
James of Shepperton will this Saturday (March 8) stage a fund-raising barbecue outside its Laleham Road shop, when customers and passers-by will be invited to sample and vote for their favourite banger from three shortlisted recipes submitted by readers of the local newspaper, the Surrey Herald & News.
The following Wednesday (March 12), retail magnate and entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, best known for his appearances on the BBC business programme Dragons’ Den, will make a personal appearance at 9.30am to consider feedback and help choose an official 'Chertsey Sausage.'
All 120 members of the national Butchers Q Guild - award-winning butchers from Inverness to Cornwall - will then be invited to make and sell the sausage in their own shops to swell the flood relief kitty.
The idea to create the Chertsey Sausage sprung from the aqua dam through Bridge Street in Chertsey, which, although its flood defence role was short, gained notoriety nationwide in just a few days, becoming known by locals and beyond as the ’Chertsey Sausage.’
James Lally, whose runs James of Shepperton with his wife Katie and is southern chairman of the Q Guild, teamed up the Surrey Herald & News, which invited its readers to come up with recipes for a fund-raising pork-based Chertsey Sausage.
On learning of the initiative, Mr Paphitis, who lives in Surrey near the flood-affected areas, was quick to step in and offer his support. He already knew James of Shepperton after tasting a sausage they made for the winner of a recipe competition at a local school.
Three contenders have now been shortlisted in the countdown to find the ground-breaking banger. They are The Chertsey Mead Sausage, containing honey, mead and mustard, from Dee Gooch, who lives locally in Chertsey Lane, a white wine, fennel seeds and Provolone cheese sausage from Tony Rogers, of Staines, and a chorizo, Cabernet Sauvignon, shallots and Monterey Jack cheese sausage from Chris Mallory, who was born and raised in Shepperton and now lives in Derbyshire.
After this weekend’s public tastings of all three sausages, provided free of charge in return for a donation by James of Shepperton, expert butchers, assisted by Mr Paphitis, will make a final decision on the outright winner the following Wednesday.
The shop will then make the sausage in-house and continue to sell it locally to boost the flood relief fund, at the same time rolling out the recipe to fellow Q Guild butchers across the country, who will themselves make and sell it to their own customers to raise even more cash.
Mr Lally said: “We’re creating a little bit of history by immortalising the infamous Chertsey aqua dam in the form of a brand-new signature sausage. In fact, with the support of both Mr Paphitis and the Butchers Q Guild we could well have opened the flood gates to a fund-raising campaign among the nation’s elite meat men and women.”
Sandy Boyd, general manager of the Q Guild, said: “James of Shepperton are showing real initiative in fronting a campaign that will help their hard-hit communities. Our management committee agreed that other Q Guild butchers nationally should be given an opportunity to support the initiative and we will be producing promotional posters for display in our members’ shops.”