Wild Game Salamis in Hastings has taken out New Zealand’s top bacon award with their middle eye/loin entry and New Zealand’s best ham award for their boneless ham and is the first ever business to take home two Supreme Winner awards at the 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Awards.
Wild Game owners Jordan and Varnnah Hamilton-Bicknell run a boutique butchery in Camberley, Hastings where they create quality products which are sold both in-store and online.
Jordan, who has a passion for hunting and the outdoors, started his butchery trade at the age of 15 in a butcher shop in Woodville. After working six years for the previous owner of Wild Game, he took over the business and takes great pride in crafting his award-winning products.
He told REX Today host Dominic George he didn't expect to win two Supreme awards but was surprised in the best way possible.
"I was pretty chuffed when I got called out for one supreme and then the next," Hamilton Bicknell said.
Judging took place over three days, with a team of butchers and culinary experts inspecting and sampling our country’s finest bacon and ham products, all produced from 100% New Zealand born and raised New Zealand pork.
Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in each of the seven bacon categories and the two ham categories. From there, all gold medal winners were re-judged against each other to then find New Zealand’s supreme bacon and ham.
Hamilton-Bicknell knew he had good bacon and told George that he was excited just being invited to the awards dinner itself.
"I'm a pretty humble man so it doesn't take much to impress me and I sort of impressed myself with that one.
"Then to go along and get some awards like we did, it just blew me away."
A less traditional ham took out the supreme award and judges said it was quite unique but refreshing to see a pressed shoulder ham win a national award.
He said the pork shoulder is not a common product, which is almost exclusively sold around Christmas time, but something he is a big fan of.
"It's just moist tasty ham, it's too good."
Listen to the full chat between Wild Game co-owner Jordan Hamilton-Bicknell and Dominic George above.