The oven gloves are back on, as bakers begin to battle for the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards top title. And this year, celebrity chef Simon Gault will be rolling up his sleeves to help determine the country’s mightiest pie.
Gault, of MasterChef fame and owner of restaurants Euro, Jervois Steakhouse and Shed 5, believes pies are a New Zealand icon.
“I’ll be looking for pies that surpass excellence in their field. We all eat with our eyes, as we do when judging, so I’m looking for a pie that has retained its shape and is baked to perfection with good colour. This will be followed by inspection of the pastry thickness, rising and degree of cooking.
“Ultimately we are looking for a delicious filling that is balanced and cooked to perfection. I’m excited about this competition and what our best bakers and chefs from around the country will come up with,” says Gault.
The awards will be hot this year, so mark these dates – the judging day on July 24, with winners announced July 29.
With a record-breaking 4,522 pies entered from 505 pie makers throughout the country last year, the competition saw exotic entries including ostrich; pulled pork, peas, puha & scrumpy cider; duck breast, orange, bacon, mushroom & cream; tiger prawns, calamari, scallops & gurnard; lamb rump, beetroot, onion, lemon zest & dried thyme; and raspberry macaroon pie, red velvet pastry, raspberries, chocolate, cream & coconut.
Yet it was a humble mince and cheese pie from Greenland Bakery & Café in Botany, Auckland, that took home the Supreme Award, breaking the controversial two year winning streak for fruit pies.
But what will tempt the judges’ taste buds this year? Will steak steal the stage or will a delectable fruit pie emerge as the winner? All will be revealed on Tuesday 29 July, when the winners are announced.
SAVE THE DATE
Judging Day: Thursday 24 July, 7.00am – 1.00pm
Winners announced: Tuesday 29 July, 8.00pm