Pie hopes for the future as Wakefield celebrates city status

Nigel Hofmann and his daughter Emily have made a WFD Pie to celebrate Wakefield BID’s WFD 130 campaign. Pictured in Wakefield Cathedral

A special pork pie has been created as part of the WFD 130 celebrations to mark Wakefield’s 130th anniversary of city status.

Commissioned by Wakefield BID and created by champion pork pie-makers, Hofmann’s of Wakefield, the new WFD PIE is based on Nigel and daughter Emily’s award-winning secret family recipe with the added twist of a rhubarb topping – a vegetable famously from the city.

Wakefield was given city status – thanks to Wakefield Cathedral – in 1888 and eight years later, Nigel’s great great granddad setup the family’s first butchers on Westgate in 1896.

Over time, the secret family recipe for pork pies has been tweaked culminating with a final twist to create the WFD PIE which will go on sale from today.

Nigel Hofmann said: “I think Wakefield is sometimes Yorkshire’s forgotten city, so it’s nice to be involved with something to make some noise about it. We’ve won the Great Yorkshire Pork Pie competition 8 times over last three decades, which we think is the biggest pie competition around, so working with Wakefield BID to create the WFD PIE made perfect sense.

“The pork is sourced fresh from across Yorkshire and it’s then hand-blended with a secret family recipe of herbs and spices that has been passed through the generations, tweaking as we go, to adapt to modern changes in taste. Jelly is important as it keeps the meat moist and is added directly after the pie is baked while it’s still warm so the flavour of the jelly soaks into the pie. And the pastry needs to be crisp – the magic is in the way it is mixed and getting the right thickness.”

The WFD 130 campaign, led by Wakefield BID, aims to remind people that Wakefield is a city – and not a town – as part of a wider long-term plan to encourage more people to visit and more businesses to setup in the city centre.

Elizabeth Murphy, Manager of Wakefield BID, said: “Wakefield city centre is famous for pies, for rhubarb and for our cathedral so we’ve combined these ingredients to create something fun and special. A taste of Wakefield – literally.

“Wakefield doesn’t want to be and isn’t trying to be somewhere else. People are proud to be from Wakefield, but we want to play our part in reinvigorating that passion through pride and partnership to shout about our city, our amazing – and often surprising to people who haven’t visited for a while – shops, cafes, restaurants, attractions. It’s a journey and it will take time, but our plan is to build on that element of surprise and do things that will make people stop, listen and then hopefully visit.”

The pies can now be bought for a limited time from the two Hofmann’s stores in the city centre between now and Christmas with a second wave planned to go on sale next February alongside the city’s Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb.

The Dean of Wakefield, the Very Revd Simon Cowling, said: “Wakefield Cathedral is proud to be playing its part in Wakefield BID’s drive to put Wakefield on the map. After all, it’s because we were given Cathedral status 130 years ago that Wakefield became a city.

“We like to think of ourselves as the people’s cathedral where all are welcome, and we look forward to joining the anniversary celebrations,” added Dean Simon.