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Venison pie wins supreme award from 5696 entries!

Fast & Fresh Bakery Taupo’s winning pie!

A venison, mushroom, bacon and cheese pie proved the perfect combination of flavours for judges unanimously voting it the 2017 NZ Bakels Supreme Pie Awards winner.

Baked by Lee Ing of Fast & Fresh Bakery of Taupo, the Supreme pie came out on top of 5696 entries during judging on July 27.

NZ Bakels managing director Brent Kersel says:  “the winning pie first caught our attention when it won gold in the Gourmet Meat category before going onto the final judging stage.  It looked great out of the oven, pastry rich and golden with the filling venison, mushroom, bacon and cheese combining well together. The venison had great flavour and texture.”

Sean Connolly, this year’s celebrity chef judge noted that cooking venison in a pie to where the end result was so moist and succulent demonstrated a high level of culinary skills and the flavours worked together to just melt in the mouth with a perfect pastry casing. “Oh wow, it’s really good,” he said after test tasting it.

Celebrity chef judge Sean Connolly (centre) with fellow judges.

Fourteen months ago Lee Ing bought Fast & Fresh Bakery after working in the bakery for two years learning all he now knows about making pies from the previous owner.

Born in Cambodia, he came to New Zealand 12 years ago to start a new life and discovered in Taranaki working for Tun Bakery that he had a natural flair for baking. 

Asked about his favourite part of baking he says: “Everything, I like everything and I like learning different skills.”

The phone call on July 28 to say that he had won an award came as such a surprise that he was too excited to focus on much else for the rest of the day. “I can’t believe I won an award, I didn’t expect that.”

Mr Kersel says: “We couldn’t wait to see his reaction when he found out at the Awards dinner on August 1 that he had won the Supreme Award!”

Entries this year, the 21st year of the competition, were up by 10 percent , says Mr Kersel, with the two largest categories Mince & Cheese and Steak & Cheese, going head-to-head with 417 pies in each category, leaving judges the enormous task of finding bronze, silver and gold award winners amongst them.

In the Gourmet Meat category flavours and pastry styles kept judging fresh and interesting with breakfast pies filled with the likes of spaghetti, bacon, onion and even potato nuggets through to a goat vindaloo pie, a seafood pie with octopus, and a lamb cheeks with vegetables, herbs and anchovies pie.

The Vegetarian category was filled with vibrantly filled pies and new ingredients including yams, swede, and sugar snap peas.  Wholemeal and spelt pastries are emerging in this category, while gluten free pastry is growing in popularity in the Café Boutique category.    

Mr Kersel says: “A number of entries this year have used their imagination and flare to make the finished product look different and exciting. Everyone started talking about the ‘kiwi’ pie when its box was opened. The pie top featured a kiwi with koru patterns made out of poppy seeds. The pastry was even moulded into fern leaves! In the Gourmet Fruit category the presentation of the pies was stunning. One pie, a pineapple, lime and coconut creation actually looked like a slice of pineapple.”

NZ Bakels originally launched the Supreme Pie Awards in 1996 to improve the quality of pies and pastry.

“Year-on-year the Awards have successfully achieved that and continue to lift the bar to a level we never imaged. New Zealand consumers now know what a quality pie looks and tastes like so if a bakery is to succeed their standard needs to be high.

“We congratulate Fast & Fresh Bakery of Taupo and we invite pie lovers to go and taste the best pie in New Zealand at their bakery,” says Mr Kersel.

The NZ Bakels Supreme Pie Award was presented at an awards dinner in Auckland tonight.

For the full list of winners, see below:

MINCE & GRAVY      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Lee Ung Crown Bakery & Coffee  
 
Silver Award Michael Kuoy Counties Bakery  
 
Bronze Award Vouch Leang Chea Richoux Patisserie  
 
Highly Commended Roger Cathro Pak n Save Petone  
 
       
STEAK (DICED) & GRAVY      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Shane Kearns Viands Bakery  
 
Silver Award Bunnarith Sao Dairy Flat Bakery Ltd  
 
Bronze Award Vuthy Chang Papamoa Bakery  
 
Highly Commended Patrick Lam Gold Star Pat’s Pies  
 
       
CHICKEN & VEGETABLE      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Patrick Lam Gold Star Pat’s Pies  
 
Silver Award Michael Gray Nada Bakery  
 
Bronze Award Shane Kearns Viands Bakery  
 
Highly Commended Khemara Yin The Bakehouse Café  
       
GOURMET FRUIT      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Bunnarith Sao Dairy Flat Bakery Ltd  
Blueberry, Apricot & Apple  
Silver Award Brian Lucas Hastings City New World  
Walnut, Zingy Lemon, Black Doris Plum, Apple & Lemon  
Bronze Award Shane Kearns Viands Bakery  
Vanilla, Ginger, Pear & Caramel  
Highly Commended Tai Khau Better Quality Pie Ltd  
Rhubarb, Apple & Lime  
       
GOURMET MEAT      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Lee Ing Fast & Fresh Bakery  
Venison, Mushroom, Bacon & Cheese  
Silver Award Patrick Lam Gold Star Pat’s Pies  
Pork, Onion & Cheese  
Bronze Award Michael Kloeg The Clareville Bakery  
Lamb cutlet, Rosemary, Lemon & Kumara  
Highly Commended Sopheap Long Hillside Bakehouse & Café  
Chicken, Cranberries & Camembert  
       
VEGETARIAN      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Jason Hay Richoux Patisserie Takapuna  
Corn, Carrot, Potato & Mushroom  
Silver Award James Musk Spelt Bakery on Highgate  
Creamy Mushroom  
Bronze Award Vong Hean Mairangi Bay Bakery  
Pumpkin, Kumara, Potato, Capsicum, Cauliflower,  
Highly Commended Chao Geemun Baker Bob’s Bakery Cafe  
Spinach, Pumpkin, Kumara & Cottage Cheese  
       
BACON & EGG      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Patrick Lam Gold Star Pat’s Pies  
 
Silver Award Samphois Sou Samis Bakery & Café  
 
Bronze Award Heng Seanghy Olivers Bakehouse & Café  
 
Highly Commended Lee Bou Seak Champion Bakery & Café  
 
       
       
MINCE & CHEESE      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Jason Hay Richoux Patisserie Takapuna  
 
Silver Award Lee Ung Crown Bakery & Coffee  
 
Bronze Award Shuly Ngann Le Royal Bakery  
 
Highly Commended Roger Cathro Pak n Save Petone  
 
       
STEAK & CHEESE      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Bunhour (Vic) Luon Waihi Bakery  
Vic and Phida Ltd  
Silver Award Roger Cathro Pak n Save Petone  
 
Bronze Award Jason Hay Richoux Patisserie Takapuna  
 
Highly Commended Savanchamnap Ly Target Bakehouse & Café  
 
       
POTATO TOP      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Bunnarith Sao Dairy Flat Bakery Ltd  
 
Silver Award Try Kong Bakers Oven  
 
Bronze Award Sopanharith Chea Angkor Wat Bakery & Coffee Shop  
 
Highly Commended Mab Chheur Angkor Kiwi Bakery & Café  
 
       
COMMERCIAL/WHOLESALE      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Eddie Grooten Dad’s Pies  
 
Silver Award Jason Danielson The Wholesale Bakery  
 
Bronze Award Amy Milina Oxford Pies  
 
Highly Commended Terry McMahon Couplands Bakery  
 
       
CAFÉ BOUTIQUE      
  Name Company  
Gold Award Heather Lucas Café Pret  
Steak, Mushrooms, Carrots & Shallots  
Silver Award Edmund Koh Ed’s Café  
Steak & Cheese  
Bronze Award Melissa Kelsey Warkworth New World  
Beef, Blue Cheese & Mustard  
Highly Commended Lesley Lambert Kitchen Republic  
Gourmet Beef & Caramelised Onion  
       
SUPREME      
Gold Award Lee Ing Fast & Fresh Bakery  
Gourmet Meat  

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