Quality Bakers plant bread-baker Tyrone Harvey, 30, won the New Zealand Association of Bakers award last week after a challenging two days of showing judges his baking skills.
He said when the judges announced that he had won, he felt "numb".
"I was looking around thinking it was a mistake.
"Even when I had the award in my hand it still didn’t feel real.
"Now that it’s sunk in, I’m over the moon."
Contestants had to demonstrate their ability in three areas.
They had a five-hour session where they baked a variety of different bread products, a 90-minute exam about the theory of baking technology and also had to give a presentation on why they believed bread should remain a part of New Zealand’s diet.
Mr Harvey said the competition was hard, but it was worth the effort.
"The presentation was the hardest part for me. I don’t like giving presentations but my bosses helped me practise for it."
He created a collection of baked goods which included cream finger buns, boston buns and cinnamon twists, kaiser buns and a plait bread.
Mr Harvey also won a research grant of up to $15,000 from the New Zealand Association of Bakers.
He was not sure how he was going to use the grant money.
"I think I’ll ask one of the judges what to do with the grant. I think I can use it to go to an overseas convention."
Mr Harvey started baking in December 2013 and finished his level three national certificate in baking during the same year.
He got his first baking job, and worked for five years at Countdown in Auckland then had a short stint at New World.
In 2019 he moved to Quality Bakers Auckland, and three months ago relocated to Quality Bakers Dunedin to be chief baker.