Pitsligo man crowned Buttery World Champion
A New Pitsligo resident has been crowned World Buttery Champion.
Mark Barnett scooped the title in the competition organised by 'Slow Food Aberdeen City & Shire' and hosted by the North East Scotland College.
Amid close competition from nine other contestants, Mark (48) who works for Aberdeenshire Council's roads department, triumphed with his delicious batch of butteries and lifted a specially-commissioned trophy from Robertson Granite of Westhill.
Cheering him on throughout the challenge was wife Lorraine and their seven-year-old daughter Madison.
Mark picked up his bakery skills at Banff's Seafield Bakery after leaving school and those same skills were to come to the fore years later once he had moved to Buchan.
He commented: "When the local bakery in New Pitsligo closed down we couldn’t get fresh local butteries, so I started making some for the Gold n Crispy café.
"But now I’ll have to put a sign on the counter saying they are the best in the world and step up production!"
He admitted to being extremely nervous in the run up to the competition, saying: “I hardly slept on the Friday night before the competition so got up very early and made a batch of butteries for the shop, so I am shocked to have won."
The competition was arranged by 'Slow Food Aberdeen and Shire' to highlight traditional methods of making the traditional buttery.
Martin Gillespie of 'Slow Food Aberdeen City & Shire' said: "The day went really well and there was a real buzz in the kitchens throughout the competition.
"The standard of the butteries that were produced were, as expected, very high and this made the task of judging extremely difficult. In a blind taste test the judges scored the entries out of five for consistency, appearance, taste and texture."
Steven Forbes from Herd's Butchers in Aberdeen - armed with his grandfather's recipe from the 1930s - was second, while Michael Duffus from Ritchies Bakery in Inverurie was third.