Top Gong: Bjarke Svendsgaard

2023 LA Judge award winner Bjarke Svendsgaard smiles at a teacher talking to him. He wears chefs whites and a white cap.

After applying to work in a bakery as a casual after school job, Bjarke Svendsgaard got swept up in the industry. Now, as the winner of the 2023 LA Judge Award, Bjarke is set to head off to Belgium on a week-long all-expenses-paid trip to learn more about and hone his craft.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into baking?
I started about seven years ago during high school, I was looking for an after-school job and was offered a position to become a baker’s assistant working Sunday mornings.

How did it feel to win the L.A. Judge Award?
Unreal, it felt so amazing and unreal at the same time when my name was read out.

Are you looking forward to the all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium? What are you hoping to take out of it?
I am super looking forward to going to Belgium. I hope to get a bunch of good experiences from all they are going to show and teach me.

Was the competition what you expected when you entered?
No, it was a lot harder than expected, with more challenges than expected. But it turned out way better, and I met a bunch of awesome people in both the organiser, judges and the other competitors.

What did you do in the lead up to prepare for the competition?
Not as much as I should have, I did some research on the theory part of the competition and had some conversations with different people. But it was hard to prepare when they want the competition as a surprise so you don’t get told much.

Is there anyone who’s helped you out particularly on the way?
My TAFE teachers helped me out a bit for the competition, but the person who helped me the most is my baking mentor Jarrod Staker.

What would you say to anyone thinking of entering baking competitions in the future?
Give it a go, even if you don’t win it’ll be one of the best experiences in your life. And you’ll have a lot of fun.

What are your plans going forward?
I don’t really know. Keep working at it and see where the baking industry will take me.

Bjarke Svendsgaard

Images: Kevin Chamberlain Photography

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