FORRES HAS MADE a determined bid to reclaim its reputation as the World Scotch Pie kings with no less than three local firms in line for the annual prize.
Murdoch Brothers were the last local firm to win the coveted title when they claimed the prize in 2010 – while close rivals Macleans Highland Bakery has coveted the award since their victory in 2003.
Now the pair are being challenged for the 2016 prize by Fraser Brothers, fresh from their success last year when they won a gold certificate for their steak pie.
Judging for the prize has already taken place with 50 experts sampling the output from 100 entrants back in December – now they are all waiting on the decision which will be announced in Cumbernauld next week.
Murdoch Brothers are hoping that their entry finds favour with the judges, which this year included former football manager Jim Leishman – in particular as the popular local butcher is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
The family business is currently run by brothers Ronnie and Graham Murdoch, with Graham admitting that winning for a second time is a tall order with only one entrant ever having managed that feat. He said: “That was a Greenock company who won in 2001 and 2002, but it would be fantastic for us to win it again in our anniversary year.”
Murdoch’s have rarely been out of the prize list – and always with Macleans snapping at their heels. This year, however, the pair have more local competition from Fraser Brothers owned by Graeme Duffus, who said: “We had praise for our steak pie last year but now we want to build on that – this would be an even bigger accolade.”
Since last being won by a Moray firm the championship title has been taken on a tour of Scotland with firms in Beith, Thornhill, Airdrie, Saltcoats and Perth having won the honour since Mudoch Brothers’ triumph.