The 2018 Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition awards dinner was held last night in Auckland. The event saw two winners walk away with the Supreme Award as judges agreed that they just couldn’t split the two entrants. New World Te Rapa, Hamilton and Westmere Butchery, Auckland were both crowned joint winners, in what is thought to be a first for the competition. Westmere Butchery won with its beef and mushroom sausage while an Angus beef sausage from New World Te Rapa stunned the judges.

David Rossiter, the owner of Westmere Butchery, has had over 45 years in the industry was beyond excited to have won the award. “It’s fantastic to win this award; it’s a dream come true, not just for me but for all the boys at the shop and every staff member. We’ll be celebrating for sure.”

The announcement of being crowned Supreme winner comes hot on the heels of being awarded the People’s Choice Award at the 2018 Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition for Westmere Butchery and its head honcho David Rossiter.

Chris Nicol, who has worked in the industry for 25 years, heads up the butchery team at New World Te Rapa, said of his store’s win: “We have won a couple of awards in the Devro Great New Zealand Sausage competition but never taken the top spot before. It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s come at a tough time for us, we’ve been short of staff, and we’ve needed people to step up, and they did. It makes me so proud of my team and to be part of the industry.”

David Stewart, general manager of Merchandise at Foodstuffs North Island, was excited with the news that New World had topped the pool. “We have our own fiercely contested sausage competition and are justly proud of what our store butchers achieve every day – but with this one, we go up against every other sausage maker, and we’ve come out with a bunch of winners. There’s no secret to our success – it’s simply down to understanding what customers want, which is flavoursome sausages, freshly made from the best ingredients.

New World took home a total of nine awards in the Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition, proof of the superb standard customers has come to expect from their stores.

The journey to crowing a Supreme winner was a long and rigorous process. Over 480 entries from over 90 stores entered sausages into the 13 categories and were judged over a two-day period.

Head Aesthetic Judge, food writer Kathy Paterson was one of the people tasked with the challenge of choosing a supreme winner and was stunned with the high standard across the entire competition. “In the past, we’ve always had a sausage that has stood out but trying to find an outright Supreme Award winner this year was near on impossible. The panel of judges could make compelling cases for both winners, and in the end, we knew the fairest thing to do was crown them both.”

During the awards dinner, entrants and industry figures were treated to the inaugural Trans-Tasman Sausage Showdown which saw New Zealand come out on top. The challenge was to turn 9kgs of beef trim into a delicious sausage mix, fill and then link the sausages as quickly as possible. Team New Zealand made up of Sharp Blacks captain Corey Winder and fellow team member Jeremy Garth operated like a well-oiled machine, stopping the clock at a remarkable 6 minutes and 18 seconds to take out the title.