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Blog : BAFTAs, Pork Pies and People


BAFTAs, Pork Pies and People

By Trisha Proud - learnpurple Associate

With the glitter of the Oscars looming over us, hot on the heels of the recent BAFTAs, I was struck by the fact that, for the most part, the BAFTA Committee had resisted being swept along with the pre-Oscar hype and glamour surrounding films such as Lincoln and Les Miserables, as wonderful as they are. Instead awards went to little known films, such as Amour and Rust and Bones.

This reminded me of when I was asked to be head judge at a culinary competition. In comparison with some of today’s larger culinary exhibitions, it was a relatively small, local affair, but nevertheless the participants had put their heart and soul into their entries. Once category winners had been chosen it was down to the judging panel to select a dish which would be awarded ‘best in show’. Naturally there were a number of absolutely stunning pieces to choose from; the more glamorous and artistic dishes attracting the most attention.

With my ‘head judge’ hat on, I listened to the panel debate with interest and realised my fellow judges were being influenced by the hype and glamour of it all; swept along by the visual impact of the dish and not necessarily its culinary qualities. It was at this point I interjected and said….”What about the pork pie?”

A stunned team looked at me with horror. So I explained that I was deadly serious and whilst, perhaps, not as glamorous as other dishes, the pork pie was indeed a triumph. More importantly, I said that our role was about looking at all of the component parts of a dish. The quality of the meat and its perfectly cooked texture; the amount and consistency of the jelly, the unbelievable melt in the mouth texture and flavour of the pastry. It was, in my opinion, the outright winner.  

The analogy I used at the time was that of a performance review. Taking all the attributes of the person sitting in front of you and analysing what you consider to be their successes, strengths, areas for improvement, development requirements and potential within the organisation. 

The chef who’d prepared the pork pie had taken a risk. It was a brave decision knowing that many of his contemporaries would aim of doing something more sophisticated and eye-catching. I commented, at the time, that if he was an employee how impressed I would have been: taking a risk, committed to the decision, challenging the norm and above all, to seeing it through.

Do you have somebody who, on the outside, maybe appear to be a pork pie, yet has something far more delicious to offer than their simple outer crust? Tell us about the pork pie award winners in your business…

P.S. The pork pie did win ‘best in show’!

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