Where do you get the best pie in Marlborough?
Peter van Beek is hoping the crushed walnuts in his gourmet fruit pie will give him a chance of getting an award at the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards, being judged today.
The owner of Picton Village Bakkerij in Picton and Blenheim said yesterday he tried to enter the competition every year, entering mainly pies which the bakery produces on a daily basis, but also at least one original pie.
"I'm not changing the pies for the competition, I'm sending in the ones I have made for the past 12, 13 years," Mr van Beek said.
Each year he tried to enter at least one or two new pies, he said, and depending on their success, he would then start selling them in the bakeries.
This year, the new ones were seafood, a mussel and hoki pie with a lemon sauce, a gourmet meat pie using duck, and the gourmet fruit pie, using pear, walnut, raspberries, and custard as the main ingredients.
"I think the gourmet fruit one will be successful. It's got crushed up walnuts in the pastry."
Mr van Beek said he was laid back in his approach to the competition, saying the ideas for each year started forming straight after the previous competition.
"They [ideas] just bubble in the back of my head after the last year. I just brainstorm and try things. You always have time here and there in a kitchen so I just muck around a bit."
The Dutch baker spent a day prepping the pies and he and his son put them together on Sunday.
From there, they were sent by courier to Christchurch, then flown to Auckland to arrive in time for yesterday's deadline at 2pm.
Mr van Beek entered 10 out of 12 categories of the competition, keeping most of the pies unchanged, because he wanted to keep them consistent for customers.
Three other Marlborough bakers - Mary Jobberns of Manhattan Cafe, Martin Ban-der-Plas of Seabreeze Cafe, and Lindsay McAlpine of Marlborough Wholesome Bakery - have also entered the competition.
The baker of the top pie in each category would be invited to an awards dinner at the Langham Hotel in Auckland on Tuesday night, where the overall winner would be announced.
The grand prize is $7000 and the Supreme Piemaker Trophy.
- The Marlborough Express