ASB October Conference 2023

ASB ABINSA winners Caleb Braszell and Ganesh Iyer

Yesterday, the Australian Society of Baking’s October Conference and ABINSA Awards Dinner took place in South Bank, Brisbane. Both events were well attended, with a range of interesting topics coming up during the Conference and the Awards being handed out at the evening’s black-tie dinner.

The Sydney J Packham (OAM) Baking Industry Medal, which is awarded to someone in the industry within the 18–24- year age group, was won by Caleb Braszell from Bakery Bleu in Victoria. The other regional winners this year were Brianna Foster from Uprising Bakery, NSW, and Rebecca Tracey from CJ’s Bakery, SA.

This win marks Caleb’s second win for the year, with the talented young baker taking out the Excellence in Baking Award for Bread in May.

“It was awesome,” Caleb said of the win.

“After putting all the hard work in, into the theory behind it… being able to actually stand up and accept the award was pretty cool.”

The Arthur E Denison Trophy, which is the ‘open’ scholarship category, was awarded to Ganesh Iyer from Riviera Bakery, SA. The other regional winners were Hannah Quick from Tinto Bakery, Vic, and David Damour from CIT TAFE, ACT.

“I’m still trying to take time to absorb it,” Ganesh said.

“This was my first shot! I tried it because I wanted to share knowledge with the young, budding bakers. This was a good opportunity for [that].”

In addition to the trophies and awards associated with each of their respective wins, both Caleb and Ganesh were also given a five-day overseas trip, which will take place early next year, so the pair can attend Europain in Paris.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the way that people make different things,” said Caleb.

“I’ve always wanted to go to a big baking convention. Seeing different equipment and processing—I find that stuff fascinating.”

For Ganesh, the trip to Europain presents an incredible opportunity to develop skills and make connections that will enable him to fulfil his goals of opening his own business within the next few years.

The ABINSA Awards Dinner was also a celebration of a stalwart of the industry. Janet Blythman, who has touched all corners of baking and patisserie over the course of her long involvement with them, was inducted into the ASB’s Hall of Fame. Janet was incredibly moved by this induction. This marks Janet’s second induction into a Hall of Fame this year; she also received this accolade at this year’s Excellence in Baking Gala Dinner, where she was named the 2023 Honorary Inductee for Service to the Industry.

Janet Blythman with her husband Warren


Main image: (L to R) Caleb Braszell (Sydney J Packham (OAM) Industry Medal winner) and Ganesh Iyer (Arthur E Denison Trophy winner)

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