Classic combo takes out top pie prize
The humble mince and cheese pie has been declared the best pie in New Zealand.
David Liem of Greenland Bakery and Cafe in Botany Downs, Auckland, won the 2013 Supreme Bakels Pie award for his simple yet "perfect" pie.
It won ahead of exoticly flavoured entries such as tiger prawn, calamari, scallop and gurnard pies, red velvet pastry, raspberries, chocolate, cream and coconut, and ostrich.
The awards, which have run for 17 years, attracted a record-breaking 4522 pies from 505 pie makers. Somewhere among the 634 mince and cheese entries was Liem's "impeccable" pie.
Bakels executive chairman and judge Duncan Loney said it was "well rounded and well flavoured, with a perfect balance between the strength of the mince and the cheese.
Celebrity judge Michael Meredith said it was a classic.
''It brought me back to my old school days, the visits to the tuck shop.''
Chief judge Tim Aspinall has figured out how to spot the perfect mince and cheese pie.
''Look for the rich golden colour, top and bottom, it's the sign that it's well cooked. The pie should speak to you - and if it says 'eat me', then do it."
While Liem has won awards before, it was his first supreme title.
Gold Award winners for each category:
Mince and Gravy: Japan You, Champion Bakery & Café, Wellsford
Steak, Vegetables and Gravy: Cameron Butchart, Butchart's Home Cookery, Wanganui
Chicken and Vegetable: Tai Khau, Better Quality Pies Ltd, Rotorua
Gourmet Fruit: Vong Hean, Mairangi Bay Bakery, brandied apple and apricot with sweet grape
Gourmet Meat: Buntha Meng, Euro Patisserie Torbay, chicken, cranberry and camembert
Vegetarian: Patrick Lam, Patricks Pies, Tauranga - stir fry vegetables, roast pumpkin, potato, kumara in spinach cream sauce
Bacon and Egg: Chad Meehan, Kidds Café and Bakery, Christchurch
Mince and Cheese: David Liem, Greenland Bakery and Café, Botany, Auckland
Steak and Cheese: Roger Cathro, Pak'n'Save Petone, Wellington
Seafood: Vong Hean, Mairangi Bay Bakery, salmon, scallops, leeks and crab meat
Commercial Wholesale: Michael Welch, Dad's Pies, Silverdale, Auckland
Café Boutique: Ben Walker, Sweet Kitchen, Merivale, Christchurch - apple, vanilla bean, frangipane, rum and cinnamon
Supreme: David Liem - mince and cheese