The Bake Skills competition is famous for introducing the newest talent to the industry and this year was no different.
Bake Skills was held at Fine Food over four days in September. The competition took on a new format this year, with contestants competing as individuals rather than in teams. The fight for Champion Young Pastry Chef was held over the first two days while the battle for Champion Young Baker ran over the final two days of the show. Judges included Leif Madsen, Greg Burge, Jason Riley and Shane Wulf.
Four pastry chefs and five bakers fought it out for a coveted green jacket, which were eventually awarded to Antonio Marcora in the pastry competition, and Hannah Macdonald for baking.
Antonio works at Adriano Zumbo Patisserie in Lane Cove. Craig Perry says, “Antonio’s talent, discipline and creative skills shone throughout the two-day event with his final presentation of pastries, cakes and a superb chocolate entremet drawing high praise from the judges.
“Hannah, too, not only showed off her excellent training—honed at Regency College in Adelaide—but also her strong organisational skills and work ethic in producing a fabulous range of breads over the two days. Hannah also won the category award for Best Creative Croissant!”
Craig says that while both champions set the pace early on, second place was hotly contested. Shannon Krstanac (Coffee Club, Point Cook, Victoria) just edged out Lucy Butcher (Choquette, Brisbane) for the Pastry Chef runner-up position and Jack Mylott (Dolcettini Patisserie, Dural, New South Wales) narrowly claimed the runner-up prize ahead of Natasha Macleod from William Angliss Institute.
Two other category prizes were awarded during the competition where Shannon Krstanac took out the Best Bake Skills Gourmet Pie while Jack Mylott produced a category winning bread showpiece in the baker’s section.
Craig says, “A huge thank you to everyone involved in the new format Bake Skills Australia Championships including the steering committee, the judges and sponsors.”