Another one bites the crust... at the British Pie Awards 2020
Another one bites the crust… at the British Pie Awards 2020
The British Pie Awards took place on 4 March, as part of Pie Week, and as always they were an absolute joy to be involved with.
A national celebration of pies in all variations, the annual event has been running for over 10 years, with the Vegetarian Society sponsoring the Vegetarian Pie Class for the last five. This year we also sponsored the Vegan Pie Class, an extremely popular new category that was included for the first time in 2019 and resulted in a vegan pie winning the whole competition last year.
As the Vegetarian Society is the home of vegetarian and vegan food, we were invited to lend our expert opinions to the judging panels for both of our sponsored categories. This has been a highlight in our calendar for several years now and Vanessa Brown and Bill Szajna-Hopgood, were only too happy to attend and put some pies through their paces!
The event seeks to support and promote the craft of British bakers and producers, and always receives a large number of entries – this year was no exception. We were delighted to see that the vegan and vegetarian submissions have continued to grow and were among the four most popular categories (out of 23 total categories) receiving entries this year.
The rules to qualify are simple: the pie must consist of a filling totally encased in pastry and baked. They must also be commercially available to buy in the UK. With 848 pies entered in total, the judging was taken very seriously to ensure fairness across the board. The judges received strict instructions about how the pies should be scored – each pie started with 100 points and points were deducted based on appearance, baking, pastry thickness, pastry texture and taste, and the appearance, texture and taste of the pie’s filling.
Bill helped to judge the vegetarian category. He said “I was really surprised and impressed by the amount and variety of vegetarian pies. Other judges in the category weren’t vegetarian but were really enthusiastic about all of the entries.”
The winner of the vegetarian category was Thomas The Caterer with their incredible Cauliflower Cheese Pie. Runners up were The Russian Food Company with their Creamy Mushroom Pie’wich and Bespoke Kitchen Foods with a Truffled Cotswold Brie and Roasted Portobello Mushroom Lattice Pie.
Vanessa was on the judging panel for the vegan class. Like Bill, she was really impressed by the range of entries submitted for her category. She said, “It’s brilliant to see vegetarian and vegan pies thriving in the Pie Awards this year. From glitzy showbiz events like the Golden Globes to your local high street, it’s clear vegetarian and vegan is an increasingly popular choice.”
Mud Foods were declared the winners of the vegan category for their delicious Squash, Spinach and ‘Feta’ Pie, while highly-commended awards were received by Chunk of Devon for its Vegan Spicy Jack Pie and Ginsters of Cornwall for its Vegan Quorn Pasty.
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