The 2023 LA Judge Award re-capped

Image credit: AEGIC/Kevin Chamberlain Photography Image caption: Left to right - Bkjarke Svendsgaard (winner), Jackson Keily, Damien Witting, and Daniel Blackburn (LA Judge Award)

Last week, the LA Judge Award, a not-for-profit event hosted by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) took place between 9–11 May. In the event, four competitors from around the country squared off across all aspects of baking, including practical baking skills, technical knowledge, and presentation abilities.

This year’s competitors were Daniel Blackburn from Creative Crusts in Queensland, Bjarke Svendsgaard from Olivers Latrobe Café Bakery in Tasmania, Jackson Kiely from Coles in Western Australia, and Damien Witting from Salus Bakery in Victoria.

The Award for Baking Apprentice of the Year was claimed by Bjarke. He was officially announced the winner at a gala event in Sydney on Thursday, 11 May 2023, presented by AEGIC and Woolworths.

LA Judge Award Director Dr Ken Quail said AEGIC was proud to foster innovation among young bakers and encourage them to push the baking industry forward.

“This event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young bakers to develop their talents and make important connections with industry leaders. Winners and competitors often go on to achieve great things in the industry,” he said.

“Being selected for this competition is a great accomplishment. All the talented candidates pushed themselves, gave their best and performed extremely well in what is a fun, but pretty tough contest. They all did themselves, their trainers and their bakeries proud.

“A big congratulations to Bjarke, who performed consistently well across the competition. Bjarke’s skills in baking, theory, and presentation were all exceptional.”

Along with the acclaim of the win, Bjarke will receive a week-long all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium to train with Puratos in bread and patisserie baking.


Image: AEGIC/Kevin Chamberlain Photography
Left to right – Bkjarke Svendsgaard (winner), Jackson Keily, Damien Witting, and Daniel Blackburn

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