Eyes on the prize winning pies

CHRIS HYDE AND ZARYD WILSON
Last updated 15:36 25/07/2012
Winning pies - Marton - Ray Cooper
ZARYD WILSON/Fairfax NZ
Ray Cooper of Ma and Pa's homebaked goodies in Marton.
Award winning pies - Roundabout Lunch Bar
CHRIS HYDE
Alan Ye and Cindy Liang from Roundabout Lunch Bar with their award winning pies.

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Cindy and Alan’s pies are the best kept secret in Palmerston North - so much so that even they did not realise they had been named among the best in the country.

The Roundabout Lunch Bar on Ferguson St won a silver award for its steak and cheese pie at the Bakels New Zealand Pie Awards last night.

When contacted by the Manawatu Standard, Cindy Liang and Alan Ye, who own the popular bakery, were unaware they had won the award.

Mrs Liang and Mr Ye make 200 of the pies every day and said the secret was in the pastry.

They have been in the pie-making business since they moved to Palmerston North from China 15 years ago.

Mrs Liang said they did not have any knowledge of how to make a Kiwi pie when they first arrived in New Zealand.

They learnt from the best, travelling the country, sampling pies at every stop.

‘‘We knew a bakery in Rotorua had the top pie award at the time, so we made sure to stop in there.’’

Their hard work in perfecting their craft is paying off.

They received top marks from local judges for their mince and cheese pie two years ago and have now added the steak and cheese to their repertoire.

Mr Ye reckons there could be more awards for the lunch bar in future.

‘‘Our bacon and egg is pretty good’’, he said.

MARTON PIE MAKES ITS MARK

Ray Cooper is expecting a run on his chicken, mushroom, bacon and brie pie.

The Marton baker is upping production after picking up a silver award in the Bakels New Zealand Pie Awards.

‘‘Looks like we’ll be making extra pies for the next few days,’’ the Ma and Pa’s Homebaked Goodies owner said.

His pie was entered in the gourmet section of the national awards.

‘‘I didn’t believe it, I thought they were having me on,’’ he said.

‘‘I just felt my pie could have been better, by hey, looks like its ‘on the day’.’’

Mr Cooper has picked up a trick or two after being the industry for 30 years.

‘‘You’ve got to have good eating pastry, its got to be nice and fluffy. ‘Some people can make pastry, some people can’t.’’

As for fillings, he said it was necessary for the ingredients to be as real as possible.
He liked to use whole button mushrooms and proper slices of cheese.‘‘The filling has got to be something you want to eat again.’’
He said he came up with the idea especially for the competition.

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‘‘It just goes together - you know what I mean?’’

‘‘We had a pretty good basis, our chicken pies are pretty well known around the area.’’

Mr Cooper said the award could help bring people into the town.

‘‘It’s funny how people will travel,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Cooper said he will keep experimenting with different flavours.

‘‘You never stop learning,’’ he said.

- Manawatu Standard

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