Havelock North bakery claims top pie award

For the second consecutive year the nation's Supreme Pie Award has been won by a Havelock North bakery but this time the winning entry is not vegetarian.

Neville Jackson from Jackson's Cafe and Bakery, Havelock North, won with a chicken and vegetable pie, comprising chicken with leeks, celery, carrot and broccoli in a creamy white sauce flavoured with garlic and onion.

Mr Jackson also won two other gold medals in Bacon and Egg and Seafood, with that pie comprising smoked hoki, prawns and scallops in a lime mornay sauce.

Last year Mr Jackson's supreme pie won with a vegetable filling of carrots, silver beet, broccoli, red capsicum and cauliflower in a creamy white sauce.

It was a controversial pick, sparking debate whether a pie was a really a pie if it contained no meat.

Purists will be slightly happier with the choice of a chicken pie this year but it seems the humble mince pie has a long way to go to get back to its competitive best.

The awards were announced at a dinner in Auckland this evening, recognising the $130 million pie market in New Zealand.

This year a record number of awards also went to Asian bakeries, with 22 placings out of 45 awards.

Thirty judges from throughout the country tasted, inspected and dissected more than 3000 pies as part of New Zealand's biggest baking contest.

Entries came from throughout the country and were entered in 11 categories -- mince and gravy; chicken and vegetables; gourmet meat; bacon and egg; gourmet fruit; steak, vegetable and gravy; steak and cheese; vegetarian; mince and cheese; seafood and commercial wholesale pies.

Entries came from bakers, two West Coast hotels, a Parnell butcher and supermarkets from throughout the country.

The pies were judged on presentation, the pastry on the top and bottom, the filling and the profile.

The winners are:

*Mince and Gravy: Michael Kleog, Ten O'Clock Cookie Bakery Cafe, Masterton:

*Steak (Diced), Vegetables and Gravy: Shane Kearns, Oslers Bakery, Wairoa;

*Chicken and Vegetable: Neville Jackson, Jackson's Bakery Cafe, Havelock North;

*Gourmet Fruit: Ruth Davis, Ma and Pa's Hi-Way Diner, St Andrews;

*Gourmet Meat: Michael Meaclem, Hillmorton Bakery, Christchurch;

*Vegetarian: Bill Lenh Liem, Greenland Bakery, Auckland;

*Bacon and Egg: Neville Jackson, Jackson's Bakery and Cafe, Havelock North;

*Mince and Cheese: Jason Hay, Richoux Pattisserie, Auckland;

*Steak and Cheese: Bill Lenh Liem, Greenland Bakery, Auckland;

*Seafood: Neville Jackson, Jackson's Bakery and Cafe, Havelock North;

*Commercial Wholesale: Murray Blair Swetman, Gourmet Foods, Tauranga;

Supreme: Chicken and Vegetable, Neville Jackson, Jackson's Bakery and Cafe, Havelock North.

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