Beith baker 'makes best Scotch pie'
The maker of the best Scotch pie in the world has been announced.
Irvine's of Beith, North Ayrshire, beat around 80 entries to take the title at the World Scotch Pie Championships.
A record 390 products, such as pies, sausage rolls and bridies, were entered for the competition, now in its 12th year.
Company director Maurice Irvine, 50, said it was "wonderful" to finally be champion. He has entered the contest 11 times and has come second, third and fourth place in previous years.
Mr Irvine has a shop and factory in Beith, as well as shops in Dalry and Kilbirnie. He has 45 staff and the business has been in the family for four generations.
He said: "It's just the most wonderful news. As an old-fashioned tradesman, the personal satisfaction is just so good. The quality of the competition just gets better every year and to be judged by your peers as the best is just the icing on the cake."
Mr Irvine's great-great grandfather Thomas started the bakery in the 1920s, which was carried on by his grandfather Walter and father Thomas, who retired 20 years ago.
Mr Irvine went on: "I'm not telling you the recipe for the pies. That's a secret. It's a combination of good quality meat with top ingredients. You've got to have the right blend of spices to be popular with most people. Obviously it's got to be crisp on the outside and the right sort of colour. It's got to look good because you do eat with your eyes."
Irvine's of Beith makes around 60 dozen pies a day but Mr Irvine expects to increase output once word of the win gets out. "January is not the best of months for a baker but this should help boost the business," he said.
The entries, from 80 butchers and bakers, had four categories and were tasted and examined by 24 judges at Carnegie College in Dunfermline, where the winners were announced.