Mooroopna Bakery took out top gong at the 23rd Official Great Aussie Pie Competition.
Over four days at Fine Foods Australia more than 1500 of Australia’s finest pie makers battled it out to see who would be victorious in eight categories. Mooroopna Bakery in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley took out top gong, winning the Plain Pie Competition, while Top of the Ridge Bakery in Berowra, New South Wales was awarded runner up.
Brighton Bakery in Scarborough, Western Australia was crowned winner of the Gourmet Pie Competition for their vegetarian spinach and ricotta creation. Winners of the other gourmet categories were:
• Red meat: Angkor Bakery, Burton, South Australia (curry beef)
• Poultry: Village Bakery Café, Dubbo, New South Wales (chicken and mushroom)
• Seafood: Wickedly Delicious Patisserie, Monbulk, Victoria (seafood deluxe)
• Game: Village Bakery Café, Dubbo, New South Wales (kangaroo, port and cranberry)
• Apple pie: Denmark Bakery, Denmark, Western Australia (apple pie)
• Gluten-free: Cocky Chef Bakehouse, Dee Why, New South Wales (GF chicken, leek and tarragon)
Judges tested 20 criteria in the pies, including pastry, colour, aroma, quality of meat and overall stability.
Mooroopna Bakery’s Bart Honig said local ingredients helped impress the judges.
“We use the best ingredients from our local area, including meat from two local butchers. One is a farmer who buys the cattle locally and rears them himself, and the other goes to the sale yards in Shepperton,” Bart said.
“Even our flour comes directly from the Bridgewater mill, which is just over an hour from where we are.”
Since starting the shop with his parents eight years ago, Bart said Mooroopna Bakery’s pies have gone from strength to strength.
“We’ve now got 16 different pies, including vegetarian, chicken, cheese and bacon and mushroom pies,” Bart said.
“And since we won the competition, we’ve had to put on another apprentice as well as few extra staff out the front. We’ve also invested in a second pie warmer to help with increased demand at lunch time.”
Winners of the Plain Pie Competition and the Gourmet Pie Competition received $1000 each from the Australian Pie Council, while the runner up received $350. All seven category winners received $250 each, as well as a winner’s pack including aprons, publicity and professional photographs.
The annual pie competition is open to all pie making professionals, and attracts thousands of entries from Australian bakers each year. As the original and largest nationally recognised competition for pie making in Australia, it is highly regarded by the baking industry.
The competition’s manager Danielle Wooldridge said the event is growing in popularity.
“This year more than 40 per cent of the entrants were new, which meant there was a 43.8 per cent increase on last year,” Danielle said.
“The calibre of pie entries is also increasing every year. Australia has some of the best pie makers in the world, and our competition is proud to promote these pie makers.”