A sumptuous Highland Cow created by Maryam Mehdizadehkasri and a super Saltire decorated by Diane Cleland took the top spots!
FIVE City of Glasgow College final year bakery students went head-to-head at Trades Hall in Glasgow this morning to bring us ‘Scotland on a Cake’, with the winning student, or students, as judged by Scottish veteran baker, Robert Ross, and Little Venice Cake Company founder, Mich Turner MBE, taking home a prestigious work experience day at multiple, award-winner, Mimi’s Bakehouse, with all the entrants receiving a day at lead sponsor, BAKO’s development bakery in Preston.
Said Turner: “The last two years have been incredibly hard on us all but Scotland’s bakers have shown great resilience and creativity through the toughest of times. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a sweet treat, perfect pie or super sausage roll?
“So, let’s show them how much we appreciate their hard work and skill.
“Today, I am asking everyone who shops in their local bakery to do one simple thing: vote for your favourite baker in the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards 2022/23.”
Turner added: “And if you haven’t shopped in your local baker for a while, perhaps now is the time to revisit them and try some of their fantastic fresh bakes. Each vote helps recognise the hard work and skill of your favourite local baker and counts towards the Customer Choice awards.”
To mark the start of the competition, five City of Glasgow College final year bakery students went head-to-head to bring us ‘Scotland on a cake’ in just 45 minutes. Veteran Scottish baker, Robert Ross, and Little Venice Cake Company founder, Mich Turner MBE, were on hand to ensure fair play and to assess the contestants’ efforts, determining if they look good enough to eat .
And they were! The entrants offered up:
- A sumptuous Highland Cow created by Maryam Mehdizadehkasri
- A Super Saltire decorated by Diane Cleland
- A Freedom cake technically delivered by Brian Behan
- An Iron Brew bonanza iced by Rebecca Balmforth
- A Piped Saltire piped by Kellyanne McClymont
The students were able to call upon advice on the day from the current Scottish Baker of the Year, Jayne and Sara Gow, based in Inverness.
Paul Little, principal and chief executive at City of Glasgow College, said: “Our college has a well-deserved reputation for excellence in culinary arts and bakery, and I am delighted that our NQ level 6 bakery students showcased their skills for the launch of Scottish Baker of the Year.
“Our own City Market, run by our bakery students and staff, have previously won a number of product prizes at regional and national level so we are very aware of the impact and value which this prestigious competition generates.”
The event marks the opening of customer voting for the ‘Customer Choice’ awards. Shoppers simply vote for their favourite baker and from these we will identify a ‘Customer Choice’ winner in each of the four business categories; Craft Baker, Retail Craft Baker, Wholesale Baker and Bakery Café.
In a further twist to the competition for 2022, Scottish Bakers now invites bakers to submit products of their own choosing across the familiar categories: Biscuit, Bread including traditional and sourdough, Individual Cake, Morning Roll including Buttery, Savoury, Scone including Potato Scone, Celebration Cake, Viennoiserie, including French and Danish style pastries and Free-from Bread, and Biscuits and Cakes.
But only one baker can take the overall title of: Scottish Baker of the Year 2022/23
Scottish Bakers president, Linda Hill, said: “We are delighted to give the public a say with our Customer Choice awards.
“It’s a great opportunity for members to reach out to their customers and communities and get people buzzing about great, traditional Scottish baking. It’s really easy to vote too, ask your baker for their unique QR code to scan, or a voting form in store now or log on to the competition website www.bakeroftheyear.scot to vote.
Alasdair Smith, chief executive of Scottish Bakers, who organise the competition, continues: “Registration for the product judging also opens from 3rd February and we’re inviting bakers to enter up to ten products of their choosing for rigorous tasting. We are open to all bakers, not just our members though non-members will have to pay a small fee or join the association to be in with a chance of taking a prize.”
Voting opens on February 3 and runs until April 6. QR codes and voting forms are available in-store at all participating bakeries or shoppers can vote online at www.bakeroftheyear.scot – voting automatically enters you into a draw to win a Google Nest Max Hub.
Judging day will be March 16 at Carnegie Conference Centre, Halbeath Road, Dunfermline, KY11 8DY.
The winner will be announced at a glittering Gala dinner at the Glasgow Hilton on Saturday May 7 2020.
Please take a Lateral Flow Test before your arrival and remember to wash/sanitise your hands and keep a safe distance from other guests, there is plenty of space.
How the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards 2022/23 works
Customer Choice Awards:
Customers vote for their favourite baker online via each bakery’s unique web-link, QR code or using the in-store paper voting forms, from the February 3 – April 6 2022.
Paper votes MUST be received by April 6, any paper votes received after this date may not be counted.
These votes will then determine the winners of the Customer Choice Awards in the four main business categories: Bakery Café, Craft Baker, Retail Craft Baker and Wholesale Baker
The finalists and winners of the customer choice awards will be presented on Friday May 6 2022 following the announcement of the regional product award winners.
From February 3 bakers can register up to ten of their products that they would like to submit for product judging on March 16 2022 . These must be registered by Friday March 4.
There are two new categories that were added in 2020 and bread will be split into traditional and sourdough subcategories. The categories for 2022 will be: Biscuit, Bread: traditional and sourdough, Celebration Cake, Individual Cake, Morning Roll (including special awards for Buttery, French/Danish pastries), Savoury, Scone (including special award for potato scone) and Free From.
At the close of the voting period, we will write to you with instructions on how to submit your products for judging.
The product judging will be held on Wednesday March 16 at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline.
Scottish Bakers members can enter for free.
A fee of £195 +VAT will apply to non-members to participate in the product judging and customer choice vote. If a non-member wishes to submit an entry only to the Celebration Cake category, a fee of £35+VAT will apply.
Each Scottish Bakers member who achieves a bronze award or above will be eligible to take part in the business judging part of the competition.
The four business categories are: Craft Baker of the Year (three shops or less); Retail Craft Baker of the Year (four shops or more); Wholesale Baker of the Year (no shops) and Bakery Café of the Year for cafés who produce the bulk of their own baked goods either on-site or at a dedicated bakery unit.
The ultimate Scottish Baker of the Year Award will be awarded to one of the four category winners.
Non-members will not be eligible to enter the business judging part of the Scottish Baker of the Year competition.
When will the awards be presented?
Regional Awards and Customer Choice Awards will be presented on Friday May 6 2022 and the National Awards (which includes special awards), business category winners and the overall Scottish Baker of the Year 2022/3 will be announced on Saturday May 7 2022.
Notes for editors:
Scottish Bakers has been supporting and protecting the interests of Scotland’s bakery trade for 130 years.
Scottish Bakers’ core purpose is to promote and protect the interests of the trade: representing, advising and supporting all aspects of Scotland’s baking industry to ensure it remains competitive and equipped for growth.
It does this by providing the widest-possible range of benefits that help its members sustain and grow their businesses including: skills development, technical information and assistance, competitions, sector intelligence, legal advice, financial discounts, and social and business networking.
Scottish Bakers manages both The World Championship Scotch Pie Awards and The Scottish Baker of the Year Awards each year to recognise and celebrate excellence in the sector.
But, most importantly, Scottish Bakers belongs to its members, it is there for their benefit and is proud of its motto, ‘For the good of all’.
With thanks to our awards partners: Bako
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