Life Changing

Champion pie maker wins life-changing Aldi contract

A pie maker has won a life-changing supermarket contract in a new TV competition show.

Christian Barrington appeared on Channel 4’s new series Aldi’s Next Big Thing, showcasing his family-run business Mud Food.

The show, hosted by Anita Rani and Chris Bavin, sees independent food and drink makers pitch their new ideas to the supermarket giant Aldi.

The Argus: Anita Rani (left), Julie Ashfield and Christ Bavin star in the new seriesAnita Rani (left), Julie Ashfield and Christ Bavin star in the new series (Image: Aldi)

Christian’s award-winning product is his Chip Shop Chicken Curry Pie inspired by the classic takeaway dish.

He said:“The idea of being on TV petrified me, but I thought what the heck – nothing ventured nothing gained. I never dreamt we’d actually get selected for the programme.”

The pie is said to be a quirky twist on a traditional classic and has already won awards, including being crowned gold four times at the British Pie Awards.

It gets its name from the mild filling which is reminiscent of the traditional curry sauce you get from the local fish and chip shop.

Christian fought against five other hopefuls with products including ready-made Indian meals, Italian ragu sauce and an insect meal kit.

He was praised by Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi and judge on the show.

She said: “Christian really took on our feedback during the pitch process and came back with a product that wowed with its flavour and quality ingredients. It’s a pie that combines two British classics and we know will be an instant hit with our customers.” 

Christian lives in Midhurst with his wife and two daughters. He set up Mud Food in 2009, starting with just 50 pie tins.

He said: “To say I’m shocked, overwhelmed and overjoyed would be an understatement. We wanted to deliver the taste of a classic chip shop curry sauce in a pie that’s amazing from the outside in. Now it’s going to be discovered and enjoyed by many more people across the UK.”

Mud Food’s Chip Shop Chicken Curry Pie is now available in Aldi stores.

Aldi’s Next Big Thing is on Channel 4 at 8pm on Thursdays.

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