Western Australia’s top bakers and pastry chefs have been revealed following judging in the 2019 Perth Royal Food Awards Bread and Pastry competition.
More than 300 entries across 49 different classes were tasted, torn, crushed, sniffed and scrutinised by a team of professional judges led by Chris Burton from Millers Foods. Categories included everything from bread to doughnuts and brownies to pies, with each producer looking to secure a gold, silver, bronze or champion prize for their respective products.
The prize for Most Successful Bread Exhibitor was hotly contested, with North Street Store (Cottesloe) and Mount Claremont Village Bakery separated by only a couple of points. Both bakeries led the gold rush in the medal stakes, with judges struggling to split the two across multiple categories.
Champion prizes were split between North Street Store (Champion Loaf and Champion Artisan Bread), Miami Bakehouse (Champion Pie) and MJ Creations (Champion Pastry and Champion Cake).
Entering their sixth consecutive Perth Royal Food Awards, MJ Creations also took home two gold medals and one silver.
Helen Hacking, who owns and runs the bakery, said the awards have made a real difference to the business.
“We celebrate every win and scrutinise every time we fall short – what could we have done better, where could we improve,” Ms Hacking said.
“They also matter to our customers.
“People, increasingly, want to know the story behind the product.
“Western Australias in particular are passionate about their food and buying local, I’ve seen customers specifically go out to find our products, look for that medal on the packaging and buy it.”
The Perth Royal Food Awards – an initiative of the Royal Agricultural Society of WA (RASWA) – is one of Australia’s toughest food and drink competitions and the medals are highly sought-after among producers as a mark of excellence in their craft.
RASWA President Paul Carter said when it comes to winning gold, it’s all in the detail.
“As our judging teams will attest to, winning a Perth Royal Food Award isn’t easy,” he said.
“It takes a keen eye for detail and a drive for only the finest quality and consistency.
“That is why winning a Perth Royal Food Award is such a significant achievement and why we see bakers and patissiers – from across our state – return year after year with the hope of winning.
“We’re very proud of the standard of judging in this competition because it helps protect the integrity of these awards.
“Our ultimate aim is that the medals and prizes will be used in shops; on products and packaging; and in the markets and supermarkets where baked goods are stocked, helping the general public to identify exceptional produce and support WA producers.”
The Perth Royal Food Awards concludes at a gala event to be staged at Crown Perth, on Friday, September 6. The awards evening will also see WA Grand Champions revealed across 17 categories.