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    Dad's inspiration helped cook up a big win

    Edge Hill Butchery's Ben Vallely used a lot of love to make his latest award-winning gourmet sausages.

    Making sausages is a life-long craft and a labor of love for Edge Hill Butchery's Ben Vallely.

    And it's paid off, big time.

    After three months of testing and tastings, Ben's gourmet Canadian maple and smoky bacon sausages have been crowned the region's best gourmet sausage.

    Edge Hill Butchery took out the Gourmet Sausage category in the hotly-contested Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) Regional Sausage King Awards.

    In a touching tribute to his recently departed father and legendary local butcher Brian, a passionate Ben said he was inspired to win the competition after his Brian's earlier success in other categories.

    Brian had previously won AMIC plaudits for his Italian and premium pork sausages. 

    "There's a lot of sentiment in this win," Ben told TropicNow.

    "It's funny because the Canadian maple and smoky bacon sausage was something Dad never let me make. He was worried the bacon would discolour the sausage but he didn't count on me adding the maple syrup.

    "It was very tough competition this year. The judges said there were a lot of countbacks which is a testament to the quality of all butchers in our region who entered.

    "Everybody has been loving these sausages. We sell them as fast we can make them."

    Ben said the judges scrutinised each entry with great intensity, including consistency, taste and how well it cooked on a barbecue.

    Ben will now compete for the state titles at the Ekka in Brisbane on August 14 for a chance at the national crown.