GOTAFE Baking trainers, Stephen Pinnuck and Kim Banfield are busy in Sydney this week judging “The Great Aussie Pie” competition. It is the biggest pie competition in Australia.
Stephen and Kim have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to judge the competition for the past 15 years. The competition runs for four days with a judging panel of 12 people. They have a number of entries with each judge potentially eating 60 pies a day, so roughly judging around 240 pies for the whole competition.
“Pies get cut into quarters for us to taste. We nibble on the meat, pastry, aroma, the stability and all of those things that go towards it. And then we move onto the next pie. We nibble because there is no way we could eat a full quarter of 60 pies in a day”. Said Stephen.
“We first mark the pies cold. In this section we don’t eat the pies, we mark for symmetry, colour, pastry thickness, amount of filling, and if it is the gourmet section what sort of fillings have they tried. Whether it’s creative or not. When hot, we taste the pies and mark on stability, aroma, meat and fillings that they have used.”
Stephen’s idea of a good pie “one that is well constructed, it’s got good flavour but not over powering, the meat doesn’t run out everywhere, the pastry isn’t too thick. Just a good, consistent, stable pie.”
The competition is a great way for the Bakeries and the industry to get some more exposure. People travel far and wide to try the “Greatest Aussie Pie”.
“I think it’s good for bakeries. The bakeries that have entered all get feedback on their entries. If they don’t go as well as what they hoped they can improve with the suggestions on their feedback. People who act upon their feedback are the ones that eventually take out the big prizes”.