The Australian Baking Industry National Scholarship Awards has again recognised stand out bakers and pastry chefs throughout the country, both young and experienced.
Rising star Matthew Thorpe from Baker’s Treat Baking School, South Australia, took out the Sydney J Packham Baking Industry Medal, while Terry Yuke from Baking Industry Training Australia, Queensland, was awarded the prestigious Arthur E Denison Trophy.
Created in 1990, the National Scholarship Awards are designed to promote thought, debate and discussion in the baking industry and to reward high achievers.
The original open scholarship category for bakers aged 25 years and older, the Arthur E Denison Trophy, was named in recognition of the late Arthur Denison, a baking industry legend described by event organiser Craig Perry as, “the doyen of bread judges”.
Entrants were required to research a set industry issues, with Craig saying judges were looking for papers that not only contained original research, but also offered fresh and viable ideas to help the industry.
Four scholarship topics were offered this year: baking as a challenging career; baking in an ageing world; trends and influences; and the future of bread.
“The topics were all quite involved, with those entering not only having to investigate and identify the ‘why’ but, more importantly, come up with a plan or framework they believe would be a workable solution to attract more people to the industry and to benefit the industry as a whole,” Craig said.
Terry said wining the Arthur Denison trophy is an honour, given the calibre of entrants, which gets higher ever year.
“The award is well-known throughout the industry and all recipients have generally been in the industry for a number of years,” he said.
“The standard of competition is improving each year. The judges advised the competition was very close and the standard very high. I would encourage all the participants to re-enter the competition next year and urge interested parties to participate.
“These types of competition offer an opportunity for professional development and allow the entrants to extend their knowledge in a way that is not always available in their workplace.”
Australian Baking Business congratulates Terry and the other regional winners, which include:
• Western region winner: Catherine Overend, Bakers Delight, Wembley, Western Australia
• Southern region winner: Warren Guest, Holmesglen TAFE, Victoria
• Eastern region winner: Ben O’Rourke, Original Croissant Gourmet, New South Wales
The four regional winners spent five days in Sydney visiting several high profile bakeries and pâtisseries, including Sonoma Bakery, Bourke Street Bakery, Croquembouche Pâtisserie, Brasserie Bread and Sticky Foods.
The Sydney J Packham Baking Industry Medal, named in honour of the founder of the Australian Society of Baking, was added to the Scholarships Awards in 1994 to specifically cater for the 18-24 year age group.
As a third time regional winner in the competition, Matthew said he was relieved to be announced the national winner and will use the knowledge acquired on the industry tours to grow his own business, Baker’s Treat Baking School.
“The industry tours were fantastic in Sydney. A few of the businesses I had visited on a previous regional scholarship trip and it was great to see how they had changed and expanded with new innovative facilities,” said Matthew, who is currently working at Dulwich Bakery full-time while studying a Certificate IV in Business online.
“My goal in the next few years is to open my own boutique artisan bakery and pâtisserie, incorporating baking classes on sourdough and other yeast-based products.”
Congratulations to Matthew and this year’s eastern region winner, Joshua Bendeich from Singleton Heights Bakery, New South Wales
Both Terry and Matthew received a five-night overseas scholarship package to enable them to further extend their industry knowledge and expertise. As the winner of the Arthur E Denison award, Terry will be flown to Paris or Chicago, while Matthew will join the 2013 Bake Skills Champions and attend the Food Hotel Asia expo in Singapore, which includes the Asian Pastry Cup.
More than 10 certificates of excellence were also awarded to the following young bakers and pastry chefs:
• Kerry Yacoumis (SA)
• Andrew Toogood (SA)
• Kayla Macedo (WA)
• Emma Jansen (VIC)
• Kimberley Chin (VIC )
• Morgan Clementson (NSW)
• Natasha Oates (NSW)
• Barry Lindemann (QLD)
• Julia Edwards (QLD)
“Thank you to the event partners and sponsors that made these scholarships possible, which include EOI Peerless Foods, Allstates DCP Marketing Services, the Australian Society of Baking and Callebaut Chocolate,” Craig said.