Australia’s Best Pie and Pastie Competition takes ...

Australia’s Best Pie and Pastie Competition takes centre stage

The team from Country Cob Bakery are pictured. Two men are giving the thumbs up to the camera and smiling. On the table between them are four trophies.

Come June, baking’s finest from across Australia and New Zealand will be heading to Melbourne for the 2024 Baking Industry Trade Show.

At the heart of the three-day event remains the eternally popular Australia’s Best Pie &Pastie Competition.

Divided into two categories – 2024 Australia’s Best Pie and 2024 Australia’s Bets Pastie – the competition never fails to impress.

Baking Association of Australia executive officer Tony Smith said he and the judges expected to see the trend of pushing the boundaries when it comes to fillings to continue.

“Everyone’s certainly pushing the boundaries on what they can do with gourmet fillings. There could be anything. That the thing, you can put so much into a pie now,” he said.

“You’re only limited by your imagination, and that’s the great thing.”

Tony said another major element of the competition was the delivery of feedback. Competitors will regularly chat with the judges over the barrier about what they’re looking out for as well as critiques.

“The judges don’t know who owns what… but they can give real time feedback, and people can build on that information,” Tony said.

“The other big thing is that when it’s all done and dusted and all the entrants have received their certificates then the judges sheets and comment sheets all get mailed back to the competitors.

“It’s a massive job. Then, if you’ve decided to enter, you’ve got a building block for next year.”

Another new element of the 2024 Baking Industry Trade Show is the addition of a category for the National Donut Competition – savoury doughnuts.

Tony said this decision was made after reports of savoury doughnuts gaining in popularity in both the US as well as here in Victoria.

“Think bacon and maple syrup doughnuts,” Tony said.

“It’s really pushing boundaries.”

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