Third Annual Pie Awards Hotly Contested
This is the third year of the Vegan Society's Pie Awards and the competition gets more fierce every year. Pies are very much a Kiwi tradition and 5 years ago a vegan would have had a hard time finding a vegan pie anywhere. There are now literally hundreds of vegan pies available to Kiwis around the whole of New Zealand, from the staple petrol station pie warmer, to cafes and bakeries, making delicious and tasty pies that satisfy everyone.
This is particularly good news for Kiwis like Duncan Garner, who made a pledge back in July, that should Labour win the election, he would go vegan for a year. We know Duncan is not a fan of vegan food, but he loves pies. We have invited him as a last minute judge to try out a plethora of vegan pies for himself.
The real question is can anyone beat Richoux Patisserie? Jason Hay entered our inaugural Pie Awards, never having made a vegan pie, yet he won every category he entered. Richoux Patisserie has since gone from one shelf of vegan pies to half the shop full of tasty vegan pies. Hay has seen his business grow and many tradies will buy a meat pie and a vegan one, as part of their 7 a day veggie intake. Hay himself is now mostly vegan, enjoying the greater energy and slimmer waistline that has resulted.
Judges are industry experts Aaron Pucci, a Master Chef with 23 years experience, Brad Jacobs, joins us again from the Coffee Club, as the Co Director he is keen to see more vegan offerings throughout his stores. Previous judge Emmett Skilton, vegan screenwriter, actor and Shortland Street director loves pies and can't wait to taste the best New Zealand has to offer. A new judge we are excited to welcome is comedian and long term pie afficionado Laura Daniel. We are delighted to welcome Megan May, owner of Little Bird Unbakery, who will be judging the Gluten Free category.
Aaron Pucci said he was keen to judge due to his “desire to see more manufacturers take up the challenge of sustainable food and reducing their carbon footprint.”
Last year's Supreme Winner was Oviedo with their BBQ Jackfruit with Cheese, which won the Cafe Boutique category. This is a great category for the artistic flair, with any style of pie allowed. The top spot is up for grabs by any pie in any category.
New for 2020 is a new Commercial Wholesale category, to allow the mechanically made pies to have a level playing field. We will finally find out if Z, BP, Couplands or The Hub make the best pies. We are pleased to reflect the burgeoning global market for vegan foods with this category introduction at the behest of companies keen to take part in the competition. It's no wonder that New Zealand is 5th in the world for interest in veganism.
National Coordinator Amanda Sorrenson said “Our Awards seek to celebrate the best in Kiwi ingenuity, proving that everyone can have their pie and eat it too. With so many entries this year, the judges will have a tough decision finding the best pie makers. Fortunately all pie lovers will soon find out which is the Supreme Winner and have the opportunity to taste test them all”
Media are invited to the judging from midday at The Butcher's Son,
The public are welcome to the Awards Ceremony from 6.30pm also at The Butcher's Son, 204 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland.
Categories for judging this year are: Steak and Cheese, Mince and Cheese, Chicken, Sweet, Cafe Boutique, Gluten Free and Commercial Wholesale, all vegan, of course. There will be an overall Supreme Pie winner too, which could come from any of the categories.
More about the Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand:
The Vegan Society supports and facilitates a vegan lifestyle and plant-based eating by creating a vibrant, visible and influential community, and by providing resources and information.
For more information see our website www.vegansociety.org.nz
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