The 2019 British Pie Awards have opened for entry, with the addition of the Vegan Pie class.

The awards are to be held on Friday 8March 2019 in the ‘pork pie capital’ of Melton Mowbray, with judging taking place on Wednesday 6 March.

The 11th annual British Pie Awards sees the introduction of three new elements, including The Vegan Pie Class, a Fish & Chip Shop Pie Class, and the Best Young Piemaker Award.

“Over the past 11 years we’ve judged over 8,000 pies, with the help of around 150 pie connoisseurs and culinary experts. Each pie is judged on presentation, consistency and, of course, flavour – it’s a very serious, albeit delicious, undertaking,” said Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association and host of the British Pie Awards.

“Every year we’re blown away by the creativity and quality that goes into reinventing, or perfecting, a national favourite. With the new Vegan Pie Class and Fish & Chip Shop Class, we expect this year will be equally exciting, if not more so.”

Entry to the awards is open until 5pm on Friday 15 February 2019. Entries must adhere to the following rules: all pies are to be totally encased in pastry, must be baked and must fit into one of the 23 pre-assigned classes. All entries must be commercially available in the UK.