Hospitality Business Magazine

An A-pie-tite for Bacon & Egg Rules Supreme

rsz_mark_southon_celebrity_judge_left_holding_supreme_winning_pie_patrick_lam_right_supreme_winnerA Bacon & Egg pie has won over the hearts of judges at the 20th Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards. Patrick Lam of Patrick’s Pie Group Gold Star Bakery, Tauranga has taken home the much sought-after Supreme Pie Award, beating 539 other competitors. 

This is Patrick’s fifth Supreme Pie Award since first entering the Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards in 2003. To date, Patrick has won a staggering 56 pie awards, with four awards in this year’s competition: Supreme – Bacon & Egg; Silver – Steak & Cheese; Gold – Bacon & Egg; Highly Commended – Gourmet Fruit (Cointreau Pear, Apple, Cherry Cheesecake). 

These prestigious awards were presented at ‘The Pies of the Round Table’ medieval themed gala dinner at the SkyCity Convention Centre this evening; which was opended with a speech from Prime Minister, John Key.

Top chef and NZ Bakels Supreme Pie Awards celebrity judge Mark Southon, of TV3’s The Café and executive chef at O’Connell St Bistro in Auckland, said he is staggered at how passionate Kiwis are about their pies. Originally from the United Kingdom, Southon is impressed with the skills and innovative fillings bakers have brought to the table. 

Wow, I have never seen so may pies in one place in my entire life!  The standard and creativity of this year’s entries was outstanding.   There were over 5,000 entries from all corners of New Zealand.

The categories for the competition ranged from sweet to savoury, like mince and cheese and steak and gravy to gourmet meat and cafe boutique. We saw some interesting skills and flavours, such as alpaca and kimchi; braised lamb shank and butter chicken. There were nostalgic and Kiwi heritage pies like creamed paua, smoked fish and the addition of kumara to some pies.

One of my personal favourites was a take on the British pork pie from the South Island, and a smoked fish pie that was in the style of a pithivier” (a round, enclosed pie usually made by baking two disks of puff pastry, with filling stuffed in between) says Southon.

 Tim Aspinall, NZ Bakels Supreme Pie Awards chief judge and pie award veteran, has been judging pies for 13 years and believes the competition has become tougher to judge every year.

“This year’s entries were a mix of traditional braised meats, exotic combinations and ethnic fusions.   What I look for in a winning pie .… Does it say “Eat Me”?   Does it is have the wow factor and invite me to go further?  Is the pastry evenly cooked to a golden brown? Does the aroma and flavour want me to pick it up and eat more?   Patrick’s winning bacon & egg pie ticked all these boxes!”, says Aspinall.

Brent Kersel, Managing Director of NZ Bakels, is very proud to be hosting these iconic industry awards for the 20th year. 

“Part of the success of these awards is the improvement in the quality of the pies year on year.

 The bakers of today are very resourceful, and combined with the quality produce available – from our delicious beef and flavoursome vegetables – produce pies to a high quality.   

 The winning pie looked impressive before tasting. The flavour and moistness of the bacon & egg combination was mouth-watering”, says Kersel.

A panel of 21 judges spent over 10 hours last Thursday (July 21st)  judging 5,284 pies, which were blind coded in 12 categories. 

NZ Bakels Supreme Pie Awards celebrity judge Mark Southon says, “It was a very hard task to judge all the pies as the standard was exceptionally high. Lucky there was a team of very experienced judges all from different backgrounds within the industry of pie making and selling to help. The judging process was very impressive, stringent, and obviously tried and true with over 20 years experience.

The field got whittled down to 12 of the best pies, each one a winner in their respective categories, to go head to head for the 2016 Bakels NZ Supreme Pie winner. 

There were lots of stand outs including a beautifully decorated sweet pie and a tasty steak and cheese, but the winner was another Kiwi classic – the bacon and egg pie, even crisp and flaky pastry, a generous filling that was full of tasty bacon and there was a whole egg set within –

yum, yum!”

There were forty-nine awards presented to well-deserving bakers tonight with $20,000 worth of cash prizes.  Celebrity presenters included Hayley Holt,  Erin Simpson and Mark Southon. Popular comedian Jeremy Corbett of Seven Days fame was the MC for the evening, resplendid in his medieval robe.

The baker of the Supreme Pie walked away with the coveted Supreme Pie trophy and $7,500 cash, while Gold award winners received $1000 cash.   

The Gold Award winners are:

·       Mince and Gravy –  Mab Chheur of Angkor Wat Kiwi Bakery & Café, Napier

·       Steak (Diced) and Gravy – Michael Kuoy of Counties Bakeries, Pukekohe

·       Chicken and Vegetable – Savanchamroeun Ly of Savans Bakery, Warkworth

·       Gourmet Fruit – Bunnarith Sao of Dairy Flat Bakery, Auckland

·       Gourmet Meat – Roger Cathro of Pak ‘n Save, Petone, Wellington

·       Vegetarian – Jason Danielson of The Bakery Wholesale, Wanaka

·       Bacon and Egg – Patrick Lam of Patrick’s Pie Group Gold Star Bakery, Tauranga

·       Mince and Cheese – Buntheng Wong of Panmure Bakehouse, Auckland

·       Steak and Cheese – Geemun Chao of Baker Bobs Bakery & Café, Greerton, Tauranga

·       Potato Top Pie – Roger Cathro of Pak n Save, Petone, Wellington

·       Commercial Wholesale Mince and Cheese – Terry McMahon of Couplands Bakeries, Hornby, Christchurch

·       Café Boutique – Brad Dalton of Ginger Dynamite, Motueka