The 48th national event honouring the best young baking apprentices in Australasia, the LA Judge Award, has once again recognised the cream of the crop.
After the young bakers’ skills were evaluated in practical baking, technical knowledge and communication across three days. Daniel Li from Western Australia took the crown and glory with his “100 years of Gallipoli” design.
The Noranda Bakers Delight employee entered the competition to expand his knowledge about the baking industry with a view to bake in some of the world’s best establishments and, after winning a scholarship to Europe valued at $7000, he won’t be disappointed.
Interestingly, Daniel holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and only recently became an apprentice baker. Nonetheless, the judges were impressed with his outstanding commitment to detail and strong worth ethic.
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“They were faced with three days of hard work and eight written exams, and all demonstrated an excellent standard with great skills and solid knowledge. It was extremely enjoyable to see such young talented bakers representing the future of the industry.”
“Previous finalists have gone on to achieve great things. John Reminis, for example, who won in 2013, intends to use the prize money to travel to Sao Paolo in Brazil to represent Australia in World Skills this August. The 2010 winner Ashley Toth did a bakery training course in Germany, specialising in sourdough production.”
Established in 1967, the LA Judge Award honours baking industry pioneer Les Judge. GrainGrowers proudly hosted the event at its pilot bakery in Sydney in May.
This year’s event attracted close to 180 delegates, an increase from last year, with Samantha commending the apprentices’ dedication in what is a time consuming out-of-work commitment.
“The participants need to be able to take four to five days off work to compete. There is also study involved for the exams – so a lot of work goes on behind the scenes,” she said.
“Competitors are also asked to create a plaque for the presentation evening’s bread display. The theme is sent to them prior to the competition so they can start their design process and really think about how to best present themselves.
“The event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, Lesaffre Australia Pacific, Goodman Fielder, CW Pacific Pty Ltd, Bakels and Coles.”
Congratulations to all the candidates from across Australia and New Zealand who competed in the event, particularly to the finalists: Melvin Chan (Muratti Cakes and Gateaux in Prospect, SA), Bree Ann Scott (the Lyttelton, NZ), Michael Chapman (Beechworth Bakery in Echuca, VIC) and Matthew Moon (Bakehouse Delights in Nowra East, NSW).