COVID-19 restrictions mean this highly-anticipated competition isn’t going ahead in 2020, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back on vanilla slice triumphs through the years.
Starting in the tiny town of Ouyen, Victoria back in 1998, over the course of two decades The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph has become one of the biggest events on the baking calendar. Winning the Triumph is a big deal, with the title proving to be a big pulling card for customers keen to taste a piece of Australia’s best vanilla slice.
Like all great heroes, the competition itself has a great origin story. The story goes that The Great Vanilla Slice Triumph began in Ouyen in 1998 after then-Victorian premier Geoff Kennett claimed the vanilla slice from the town’s Mallee Bakery was the best he’d ever tasted. Locals challenged Kennett to give them an event to boost the local economy and put the tiny Mildura town on the map. They suggested the Formula 1 Grand Prix, and he countered with the Vanilla Slice competition.
Kennett personally supported the Triumph, acting as a guest judge until 2005. In 2011, Ouyen awarded the rights to host the competition to Merbein, another Sunraysia town.
Over the years the competition has attracted entries from around Victoria and even interstate. Lets take a look back at the winning entries over the years.
The Bridgewater Bakehouse, Bridgewater
Hudak’s Bakery, Mildura
Sharp’s Bakery, Birchip
Golden Nugget Bakery, Ballarat
Tatura Hot Bread Bakery, Tatura
Sweet By Nature, Heidleberg West
Waak’s Bakery, Stawell
Bayswater Cake Kitchen, Bayswater
Bourkie’s Bakehouse, Woodend
Merwan’s Pies, Seaford
Stoney Creek Bakery (now Halls Gap Bakery), Halls Gap
We hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip down memory lane, and look forward to seeing The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph back bigger and better than ever in 2021!