The 2015 Excellence in Baking winners were announced at the Moonee Valley Racecourse, where the motto ‘where champions are made’ could not be more appropriate.
More than 50 apprentice bakers and pastry cooks competed in this year’s National Apprentice competition, hosted in every state and territory by the Baking Association of Australia (BAA). The 13 winners from these regional events made their way to the famous Melbourne racetrack in November courtesy of Gold Sponsor EOI and the BAA, with 130 family, friends and industry participants in tow.
Ultimately, it was Sarah Rawnsley from New South Wales who was awarded 2015 National Apprentice Pastry Cook, while Danielle Markich from Western Australia took home the 2015 National Apprentice Baker trophy.
The competition is now in its third year, with BAA executive officer Tony Smith saying the caliber of entrants is getting better and better.
“The competition continues to grow because of the ability to allow apprentices to compete in their very own state with no cost for lengthy travel. The positives that come out of Excellence in Baking is all of our finalist have shown interests in continuing to support and assist the industry into the future as mentors,” he says.
“Plans are already under way for 2016 and the enquiries have started as we make changes to criteria and the panel also have something very special in mind for next year.”
The baking industry also paid tribute to a few important people; those who volunteer during the year to ensure the art of baking continues to prosper.
BAA president and NSW delegate Stewart Latter was presented an award for Excellence in Service to the Baking Industry, for his work as a founding director of the BAA and as head judge for all BAA baking shows.
Board member and South Australian delegate Martin MacLennan was also recognised for his work as a founding director of the BAA and his generosity in offering technical advice to bakers around the country.
Old Fernvale Bakery owner Bill Rose was also presented with an award for Excellence in Service to the Baking Industry for founding the group, Friends of the BAA, and the mentor group for the industry’s youth.