‘Proud moment for Hellenic cuisine’: Andrew Vourvahakis’ loukaniko named best in Australia

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Andrew Vourvahakis’ Melbourne-based business Andrew’s Choice won big at the inaugural Australian Charcuterie Excellence Awards 2022, taking out two championship awards alongside eight gold and two bronze medals.

The awards, established by the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), took place last month and Vourvahakis’ loukaniko (Greek sausage) and boneless leg ham were recognised as category champions, being ranked No. 1 in the country.

Speaking with The Greek Herald, Andrew described the win and national recognition as a “real privilege.”

“What was most exciting is that Greek Loukaniko won the Champion Award for best sausage in the country,” he said.

“A very proud moment for the art of Greek charcuterie and Hellenic culture and cuisine.”

In an Instagram video posted on Monday, Andrew also thanked his customers for their support.

“From my family to your family, a very big thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years,” he said.

In a statement, Chief Judge and AMIC National Smallgoods Council Chair, Franz Knoll, said the awards recognise products of quality and excellence in Australia’s smallgoods industry and shine a light on producers “providing superior charcuterie products.”

For Andrew, charcuterie is the ancient art of salting and smoking cold meats, a technique he infuses with ‘meraki’ (soul, creativity and love).

“I want to share this award with the entire Hellenic community and use it as an opportunity to catapult new education around the art of charcuterie and its place within our rich history and the diversity of Hellenic cuisine,” he said.

“I also want to teach all, no matter their background, to embrace the flavours of Loukaniko. What it is, how to say it and how to enjoy it, as much as they do more common European varieties.”

Andrew’s first became involved with the meat industry in 1982 as a young boy spending his afternoons cleaning trays at a Yarraville butcher shop. At 15 years of age, he began his apprenticeship and at 18 he purchased his first store from his employer.

Andrew’s butcher shop in Yarraville, 1988.

Andrew ran that store with his father Emmanouil as ‘Andrew & Emmanouils Meat Supply’ until he established Andrew’s Choice in 1989.

In 1994, Andrew began his award-winning journey, winning the title of National Sausage King, before going on to win prestigious accolades over the following years from the Melbourne Fine Food Awards, Sydney Royal Fine Food Fair and Australian Pork Limited.

Andrew was crowned the Victorian Sausage King in 2003. Photo: The Herald Sun
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