|After receiving an invitation to the
awards lunch, Amos knew that he was in line for a prize but as a first
time entrant he never expected to lift the top award:-
"I thought I was coming to collect
something in the Speciality category for my Pork, Cheese and Chive Sausage
Roll. I love creating new products and trying things.
"To win the big one is certainly a
shock to me. I have only been a year and a half in the butcher's shop that
I now own. I altered the last owner's recipe to my own taste, I think I
got it right for my taste but obviously the judges thought it was good. I
still can't believe it!"
Amos knew that he was the only
prize-winner in the room still to collect his award after the final gold
award was announced. Either his invitation was a mistake or he was
there to collect the title. He addressed the audience clutching the
"It is really very awkward being up
here. Mr Alan (Stuart) is my old boss and I can only say thanks. I
learned so much off his company and I really appreciate being here.
It is such a mixture of people that have learned from."
Speaking after all the photographs were
taken Amos paid tribute to his manager while employed at Stuarts, someone
who is now in direct competition to him:-
"I have a lot of respect for my
mentor Derek McMahon, he is talented and creative. He has given me
healthy competition. That's what business is all about, healthy
competition to move us forward and develop things. It helps to
increase the standard of your product as well.
"The most important thing I have
found in the last year and a half is listening to my customers."
They have certainly fed back the touches
that have elevated Amos to be the 'Pie King of the World' but he reckons
that his customers quest for value for money has focussed his attentions:-
"It goes down to money as well. If
they have two pounds in their pocket you cannot aim at two pounds 50p. You
have to be creative and make the product nice and tasty, good quality and
not too much fat.
"Fat is important because it gives
flavour but getting the right balance is another thing because you have to
think about waistlines nowadays."
Amos who is 40, served his time at RT
Stuart and worked as a relief manager for a supermarket before coming back
to be butchery manager at the Stuarts, Buckhaven shop just along the road
from the shop he now owns trading as WF Stark.
By Amos's own description it is only a
small business selling under 100 scotch pies per week. That is about
to change dramatically if the performance of previous winners is followed.
Two full time and two part time members
of staff might find that they will need extra hands and Amos suddenly
realised that he would have to get on the phone smartly to his pie shell
supplier, William Sword.
"I find that they are good with the
product, they are very polite and if you have a problem they are wiling to
listen. They are a good company to work with."
In the pie shells Amos uses Scotch Beef
matured and supplied by St Andrews Wholesale Meat Co., salt, pepper and a
little rusks all mixed up with that little magic.
"I inherited the recipe; it was a
similar recipe to the one I had from an old traditional butcher, Mitchells
in Ceres. I served two years in there and learned a lot."
2008 prize winning Bridies
2008 prize winning Speciality Pastry Products