Media Release: Mich Turner launches Scottish Baker of the Year competition as Michelle McManus and Jim Leishman put pastry pride to one side


SCOTTISH singing star, Michelle McManus, and Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman MBE, put pride to one side today as they joined Andre Sarafilovic, the Scottish Baker of the Year 2013 and TV judge, Mich Turner MBE, at an exclusive masterclass at the Stephens Bakery in Dunfermline to mark the launch of the 2014 search for the Scottish Baker of the Year.

Michelle and Jim were shown how to:

- make 12 bridies

- write in icing on a celebration cake

- fill a strawberry tart

- and hand-mould three roses, hand pipe leaves, gilding and piping buttercream shells around the base before being asked to show off their skills and have a go for themselves.

“It’s wonderful to see such a competitive spirit amongst our enthusiastic participants today,” said Mich. “And I am extremely excited as to which products, as voted by customers, make it to the top spots this year.”

Michelle said: “I have never baked before so this was all new to me, I loved it and I won! And to be able to learn off the Scottish Baker of the Year and Mich Turner MBE, I mean she makes cakes for the Beckhams. It was an honour.”

Said Jim Leishman: “It’s no surprise that I love a good pie at half time and I was honoured to judge at the world scotch pie championships last year, but now they’ve got me baking too! I have had a great day and have discovered a hidden talent, I think!”

Everyone loves a tasty treat from their local baker. With thousands upon thousands of scones, loaves, savoury items, morning rolls, individual cakes and biscuits sold in Scotland every day, our artisan bakers work hard to keep us all going.

So, in 2012 Scottish Bakers, the Trade Association for bakers in Scotland, decided to search for the best baker in the land.

“We received some 12,500 votes from members of the public from all across Scotland in 2012 and over 15,000 in 2013 with some 200 bakers recognised,” says Alan Clarke, chief executive of Scottish Bakers.

“We are delighted to launch our third nation-wide search for the Scottish Baker of the Year in 2014 celebrating the achievements of the 15,000 people who work in our industry.”

TV judge, Mich Turner, will once again support the competition by compering the awards which will be presented in May.

Mich said: “I am delighted to once again be involved in this event. As a professional cake-designer, I have been really impressed by the quality and creativity Scottish bakers are demonstrating and I look forward to being surprised and delighted again this year.”

As interest in home baking and artisan baked goods continues to grow, Scottish Bakers, which supports and promotes the interests of bakers in Scotland, will be looking for the best morning roll, bread, scone, savoury, individual cake and biscuit whilst seeking to crown the best baker in the land.

2013 winner, craft bakery and family-owned business Stephens Bakery said of their win: “We were extremely pleased to be recognised as Scotland’s best baker.

“We have an ethos that we must make everything ourselves from scratch and this, along with our consistently high product quality, was recognised by the judges.

“Since winning, our business has gone from strength to strength and we have been able to share our success with all of our customers by continuing to provide the best baked goods day in and day out.”

Scottish Bakers was established in 1891 and since then have represented and promoted the interests of the bakery trade in Scotland.

They aim to be an integral part of each member’s business by providing support for Bakers of all sizes. They provide a valuable source of help, advice, information, assistance and skills development for bakers throughout Scotland. Most importantly, Scottish Bakers belongs to its members and exist for their benefit. They are proud of their motto, ‘for the good of all’.


Julie Fourcade


Fourcade Communications

T: 01903 741546 M: 07850 523615

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Contact: Julie Fourcade