Pie perfectionists from all over the UK are now invited to enter the 2016 British Pie Awards. The world-famous Awards, which are to be held on 9 March 2016 in the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray, are in their eighth year. The hotly coveted contest continues to grow in popularity, with last year’s Awards seeing a staggering 830 pies entered from 131 professional bakers, butchers and chefs – judged by 109 pie aficionados.
The Awards celebrate our nation’s love of pies – be they hot or cold, sweet or savoury. A few simple pie rules must be adhered to though: all pies are to be totally encased in pastry with a closed top, and fit into one of the pre-assigned classes. All pies, except the specialist class (see below), must also be commercially available in the UK.
And new for this year, the Awards will now take place during British Pie Week (7 to 13 March). Matthew O’Callaghan, Chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, said “We’re very much looking forward to another Awards celebrating the craftsmanship, creativity and innovation in pie making and what better time to do so but during British Pie Week itself.
“Each year we’re impressed by the fantastic calibre and number of entries – last year we had everything from Chilli Beef and Chocolate Pie to Wild Beaver Pie and Kangaroo and Ale Pie.”
A PIE FIT FOR HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN’S 90TH BIRTHDAY
Each year the British Pie Awards have a Speciality Class that encourages pie makers to get creative with their baking. For the 2016 Awards and in celebration of HM The Queen’s 90th birthday – bakers, butchers and chefs are invited to create a pie ‘fit for Her Majesty The Queen’.
Although judged to the same standards as other classes this class is all about the ‘wow factor’, with more decoration and freedom to choose filling and pastry type. It also does not have to be commercially available.
In 2015 the Speciality Class ‘Bride’s Pie’ was well contested with beautifully crafted and ornately decorated pies with a variety of delicious sweet and savoury fillings.
Katharine Walmsley from Nice Pie, winner of last year’s Speciality Class with a Chicken, Champagne & Truffle Pie, commented: “The Speciality Class is a real chance to show how creative you can be as a pie maker, and creating a ‘Bride’s Pie’ was the perfect platform to show off! With so many wacky and wonderful entries to this class, we were delighted to be named class winner.”
ALL THE PIES
Following the success of adding extra classes in 2015 to allow for a wider range of pies, this year there are 20 classes to enter again. This includes the return of the ‘Free From’ class – only allowing entries from pies that are free from gluten. The category acknowledges the developments in dietary needs – something that is increasingly recognised across the baking realm.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Entry to the Awards is open now until 22 February 2016. It’s open to anyone who sells pies commercially in the UK, with a special rate for companies with fewer than ten pie makers. Full details of how to enter, as well as a full list of this year’s classes, can be found on the British Pie Awards website: www.britishpieawards.co.uk.