With a disciplined and well-practiced performance, the New South Wales team was awarded the coveted green jacket at this year’s Bake Skills competition.
After three days of intense competition, the 2013 Bake Skills champion title was awarded to team NSW, which consisted of Jessica Timpano from Cavallaro’s Sweet Indulgence and John Reminis from Bakehouse Delights.
The pair impressed judges with their Alice in Wonderland-inspired display, also wining both Best Theme Display and Best Gourmet Pie awards.
Team NSW will travel to Singapore next April to attend the FoodHotel Asia exhibition, which incorporates the Asian Pastry Cup. In Singapore, Jessica and John will have the opportunity to visit the Callebaut Chocolate Academy and taste the region’s unique bakery offerings. Further to each winner taking home a $250 cheque to assist with spending, the Wollongong Institute of TAFE will be able to display the Perpetual Trophy for the next 12 months.
The team’s manager, Illawarra Institute of TAFE teacher John Baker, said both Jessica and John displayed a high-calibre of dedication and passion for the baking industry and were destined to become well-recognised as skilled bakery and patisserie professionals.
“I have learnt over the years that to have success you need to choose the right two people. Of course you need a competent baker and a great pastry cook, however, you need more – there has to be passion, commitment and dedication and the will to learn new skills,” John said.
“There were months of planning, learning and practicing. In many instances, our team would source out industry specialists who John and Jess would spend many hours with so they could learn new skills and refine existing skills. In John’s case, it meant travelling great distances from his home in Nowra.”
Acknowledging the pair enjoyed great support from their families and the industry in general, John thanked all parties who contributed to Team NSW’s win.
“Our team was much greater than just the three of us down here in Wollongong. John and Jess had the full support of our bakery team and TAFE management, for whom we are eternally grateful. However, there were so many other people involved, who gave their time and shared their knowledge,” he said.
“I would like to acknowledge team Victoria, who gave us a real run for our money and to Emillia Preston who represented South Australia – she is a true professional”.
Team Victoria was only 90 points behind Team NSW and was made up of Monique Collins from Mosaic Patisserie and Scott Fitzgerald from Yarra Valley Lodge. Scott Megee and Warren Guest from the Holmesglen Institute of TAFE managed the team.
The 2013 Judges Encouragement Award was presented to Team South Australia representative Emillia Preston from Gumnut Patisserie, whose excellent presentation and contemporary designs impressed judges.
This year’s Bake Skills event marked the competition’s 21st birthday, with organiser Craig Perry saying there is a consistently high-calibre of contestants every year.
“There were some very professional pieces in this year’s competition. Some were exceptional, such as the spun sugar fruit from the South Australian team and the chocolate model from New South Wales,” he said.
“Throughout the years, the steering committee has progressively stretched the product categories to ensure competitors are exposed to some of the areas they don’t normally do at college. Examples this year included the Lebkuchen challenge and the German-style pretzels.”
More than 20 companies, training institutions and associations were involved in sponsoring and supporting the event
“A special thanks must go to the event’s main sponsors EOI Peerless, Callebaut Chocolate, Moffat and Fine Foods Australia. Without the support of these companies, and event organiser Craig Perry, this wonderful competition would not be possible,” John said.