Proud Patrick's delight as Alfred Enderby now vies for a Guild of Fine Food Golden Fork

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 8 Aug 2018

Proud owner of Grimsby smokehouse Alfred Enderby, Patrick Salmon, has reflected on a phenomenal first entry into the Guild of Fine Foods’ Great Taste Awards, having emerged as the only producer in the whole of the Humber area to gain the coveted maximum three stars.

The premium salmon serving was in the top three per cent of more than 12,600 products put forward.

Judges - pulled from a selection of food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists - said: “A truly beautiful, near perfect looking side of salmon, glossy, burnished, yet firm fleshed." 

“The texture is fantastic - resilient, firm, yet melting in the mouth. The finish is lingering yet remarkably clean.”

“What a magnificent beast. We are salivating just looking at it. It is majestic, with glossy deep orangey-pink flesh. The smoky flavour gently supports the flavour of the fish itself. It is silky and smooth, sweet and succulent and cuts like butter It is just divine - a stunning product - congratulations!”

Enderby's smoked salmon and smoked haddock, awarded three and two stars respectively.

The ultimate badge of honour, the unmistakable black and gold label, described as a “signpost to a wonderful tasting product,” has also been won by the traditionally smoked haddock, which netted a two star award.

Mr Salmon bought the business in December 2016 from the retiring son of Alfred, Richard Enderby. When taking the helm, the loyal customer and former equity partner in Grimsby payment processor Cardsave vowed to build on a “brilliant brand,” and with a first retail listing into Lincolnshire Co-op and now such an esteemed national accolade, he has stayed true to his words.

He said: “We have never entered the Great Taste Awards but our customers tell us we produce the best product that is available, that’s why I bought the business two years ago. My goal was to maintain the very high standard we had established over previous decades, refine and improve where possible and get it out to the public. People need to know this is available and the Great Taste Awards is a brilliant opportunity to signpost fabulous products like ours.”

Patrick Salmon outside the smokehouse. 

He paid tribute to those who are smoking day-in, day-out in the distinctive base that sits between Fish Dock Road and Maclure Street on the rapidly changing Port of Grimsby estate. 

“We have long serving loyal staff who diligently go about their craft proud of the Alfred Enderby reputation but blissfully unaware of just how good the smoked fish they produce really is,” he said. “I feel it is my job to seek the recognition and show the lads in the smoke house that their efforts are truly recognised. The best part of these awards for me is to see the faces of the staff as I read the judges’ comments. A nonchalant smile is high praise from Dave our 42 year served master smoker!”

Buying from the fish market, and other suppliers daily, Enderby's previous owner, Richard Enderby, had fought hard for a decade to win recognition from Europe for the century-old traditional methods involved in the production. 

A second generation smoker, his father had worked his way up to manager of the smokehouse under the ownership of Grimsby Town chairman, Football League president, Football Association chairman and then FIFA chairman Arthur Drewry CBE.

Alfred Enderby's in the 1930s.

Mr Drewry had joined his father-in-law's business on his return from serving as quarter master in the Lincolnshire Yeomanry volunteer cavalry unit in the First World War. It was bought from his widow on December 1, 1961, after he had passed away earlier that year. 

Son George joined, then Richard in 1974, who described himself as “getting off lightly” as his father worked there 60 years and brother for 50. 

In 2009 his efforts for recognition of the premium product and its artisan nature paid off and it was awarded the Protected Geographic Indication (PGI). The Government's recent white paper on exiting the EU has put in place safeguards to ensure it continues post-Brexit.

Richard Enderby and Patrick Salmon, at the handover in December 2016. 

Great Taste is recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, and as the name suggests values taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is vinegar, granola, bacon or cheese being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a single, double or three-star award.

There were 12,634 entries into Great Taste this year and of those products, 192 have been awarded three, 1,207 received a two-star and 3,254 were awarded a single-star accolade. 

The panel of judges this year included MasterChef 2018 champion, Kenny Tutt, chef and food writer, Elly Curshen, eco chef and food writer, Tom Hunt, author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker Tom Herbert, author and blogger, Izy Hossack, and baker and recipe writer, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market. 

Shake on it: Richard Enderby and Patrick Salmon outside the premises in December 2016.

These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the three-star winners – including Enderby’s salmon – to agree on the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2018 Supreme Champion.

Great Taste 2018 will reach its finale on Sunday, September 2 at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London – with a Golden Fork trophy winner for each region, with the final applause reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2018.  

What is Great Taste?

Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for fine food and drink. Established in 1994, it encourages and mentors artisan food producers, offering a unique benchmarking and product evaluation service leading to an independent accreditation that enables small food and drink businesses to compete against supermarket premium own label brands.
Since 1994 over 134,000 products have been assessed. This year 12,634 products were blind-tasted by panels of specialists: top chefs, food writers, influencers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers.

Great Taste ratings:

Three-star: Extraordinarily tasty foods – less than 3 per cent of products are awarded a three-star each year – don’t leave the shop without buying it!
Two-star: Above and beyond delicious – less than 10 per cent of entries will achieve this rating
One-star: A food that delivers fantastic flavour. Approximately 25 per cent of entries will achieve this rating each year.

What are Great Taste judges looking for?

They’re looking for great texture and appearance. They judge the quality of ingredients and how well the maker has put the food or drink together. But above all, they are looking for truly great taste.

How do they work?

Each team of three to four judges blind-tastes around 25 products per session, discussing each product as a coordinating food writer transcribes their comments directly onto the Great Taste website, which producers access after judging is completed. 
Over the years, numerous food businesses, start-ups and well-established producers have been advised how to modify their foods and have subsequently gone on to achieve Great Taste stars. 
Food or drink that is deemed worthy of Great Taste stars is also tasted by a team of arbitrators, who taste, confer and agree on the final award given. If judges feel that a product needs some adjustment, and is therefore not likely to receive an award, the food or drink gets a second chance on a referral table, where another team blind-tastes and deliberates. For a Great Taste three-star award, the vast majority in the room – which can be as many as 30 to 40 experts – must agree that the food or drink delivers that indescribable ‘wow’ factor.

What should consumers look for?

The logo. The Great Taste symbol is their guarantee a product has been through a rigorous and independent judging process. It’s not about smart packaging or clever marketing – it’s all about taste.

Did we have any other winners in the Humber region?

Yes, as reported last week when they were initially unveiled... Joining Enderby’s haddock on two stars is Pipers Crisps’ Burrow Hill Cider Vinegar & Sea Salt flavour, ahead of four others all awarded a single star for the Elsham Wold-based long-term collector of Great Taste accolades. This year’s star smattering covers Lye Cross Cheddar & Onion, Kirkby Malham Chorizo, Karnataka Black Pepper & Sea Salt and Biggleswade Sweet Chilli.
On the North Bank the beers brought the cheers with clinking two stars, as Liquorice Lads Stout from Great Newsome Brewery and Marmalade Porter from Wold Top Brewery were celebrated along with Seaton Ross’ St Helen’s Farm Goats Butter. It took a further five single stars, with Great Newsome adding two more and Wold Top a further accolade.
Two hat-tricks of single star awards were landed by Three Little Pigs of Dalton Holme, near Beverley and T Soanes & Son Poultry of Middleton-on-the-Wolds, near Driffield.
Three Little Pigs’ range of air dried snacking sticks was recognised, having been brought forward under the brand, which models itself as a perfectionist producer of cured meats, developed by the fifth generation of the Clark family holding.
T Soanes & Son Poultry, in its 71st year, won for its Yorkshire Grain Fed Chicken Supreme and Fillet, as well as Cockerel Crown.  
Staal Smokehouse’s Smoked Mackerel brought a star back to Long Riston, with Drewton’s of South Cave earning recognition for its Sticky Toffee Pudding, with Pocklington’s Taste of Yorkshire earning a star for its Ginger Shortbread Bites. 
A third fish win for the region came for BigFish Brand Traditional Oak Smoked Salmon from JCS Fish in Grimsby, as it too received a Great Taste star. 

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