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Anyone who has ever visited Goldstar Patrick's Pies will have found the walls of his Tauranga and Rotorua bakeries lined with certificates and seven Bakels Supreme Pie Awards trophies.
Lam is New Zealand's most awarded baker and today, much to his surprise a new, shiny trophy will join the display and proclaim him the best sausage roll baker in the country.
Lam, who owns three bakeries in Tauranga, Bethlehem and Rotorua, has won the top award at Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards seven times.
The judging took place in Auckland yesterday with 606 bakeries from across New Zealand entered and a mountain of sausage rolls for the judges to work their way through in the blind judging process.
They were looking for a traditional sausage roll of specific weight and length with perfect, beautifully laminated pastry and a great tasting filling.
After intense scrutiny, the mountain was reduced to 10 finalists before a fresh team of judges, including celebrity judge Jeremy Wells, got down to the business of finding a legendary sausage roll among them.
Between mouthfuls were mutterings of how high the quality was, some with outstanding features such as bacon-wrapped sausage meat or chunky onions and tomatoes in filling, decorative glossy pastry.
Four South Island bakeries were among the top 10 finalists including second-place winner Takaka bakery The School Shop, entered by Marijke Isley.
Third to Michael's Bakery – Hillmorton in Christchurch entered by Michael Meaclem.
NZ Bakels managing director Brent Kersel said the competition lived up to his expectations. Entries were received from right across New Zealand, including 80 from the South Island.
"We sort of planned for how big this competition could be. Initially we were going to include it in the Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards (which had to be postponed due to Covid-19). We're pleased now that we didn't because it turned out to be bigger than we thought.
"We doubled the number of judges two weeks after the entries opened and ended up with 606 entries. That was an amazing response. On judging day there are always some entries that don't turn up, but what a turnout for the first year of the Legendary Sausage Roll competition."
Kersel said the length bakers went to with innovative fillings within the traditional sausage roll criteria has encouraged them to consider adding a gourmet category next year.
"People eat with their eyes and food has to look good first. If you can get a sausage roll to look good and back it up with flavour you know that you're onto a winner."
He said it had been a tough year for bakeries with the impact of Covid-19 and this competition was to encourage people to get back into the bakeries and buy pies and sausage rolls.
"These bakers suffered for a few weeks and we're in a position where we like to support our trade and hopefully this is going to help get them back on the track.
"What the judges have tasted today, they are very happy with and now that has got to be backed up day after day if you want to make a success of it and I'm sure that the winners will, because it's really important to you people to make your business successful. This is not about Bakels, it's about making sure that we have an industry that goes from strength to strength."
Gold - Patrick Lam, Goldstar Patrick's Pies, Tauranga.
Silver – Marijke Isley, The School Shop, Takaka.
Bronze – Michael Meaclem, Michaels Bakery-Hillmorton, Christchurch.
Highly Commended – Bunna Hout, Euro Patisserie, Torbay, Auckland.
5th – Rob Smith, Smoko Bakery, New Plymouth.
6th Tarachhay Lai, Angkor Bakery, Mangere, Auckland.
7th Wayne Reni, Percival Street Bakery, Rangiora.
8th Chantol Kak, Burwood Bakery, Christchurch.
9th Oudorm Lai, Corner Bakery Hillsborough, Auckland.
10th Seyha Seng, Randwich Park Bakery Coffee, Manurewa, Auckland.