THE heat was turned up in Dunfermline today as the 2015 search for the Scottish Baker of the Year saw 170 bakers deliver 600 of their most popular scones, loaves, savoury items, morning rolls, individual cakes and biscuits for judging by the professionals to decide who will be crowned Scottish Baker of the Year.
Bestselling Scottish writer and scone fan, Sara Sheridan, joined the judges for the first time this year.
And she said: “I travel all the time, mostly to attend book festivals and everywhere I go, I take myself off to sample the local scones. Scones are my favourite – you can keep your cake! I was really impressed today and have had a great time testing over 100 scones – what a brilliant way to spend an afternoon.”
This year also saw the first-ever opportunity for voters in the competition to win a priceless experience, to join the judges of the individual cake category and help identify the best cake in the land.
Both winners had to say, in less than 200 words, why they should be a judge.
Suzanne Fernando, of Ardrossan, said: “This is a real honour and I have had a great time tasting nearly 140 cakes and sweet treats, the winner will be a secret until May I know but there are so many worthy entries here today.”
Mary Darrah, of East Linton, added: “I am impressed by the variety of entries and the creativity of our bakers here in Scotland. To think that every product here has been voted for by customers up and down the land. Every baker who was invited to submit a product for judging should be proud.”
Continues a spokesperson: “Over 23,000 customers from across Scotland voted for their favourite bakery products across six categories so the Scottish Baker of the Year truly reflects the favourite bakery items in the land” commented Scottish Bakers chief executive, Alan Clarke.”
TV judge and celebrity cake designer, Mich Turner MBE, who will be presenting the awards which will be announced in May, said: “The judges will have had a hard task today but I have been really impressed with the quality and creativity Scottish bakers are demonstrating and I look forward to being surprised and delighted when I announce the winners in Glasgow.
“The format of the 2015 competition will see a few changes with three top prizes being awarded ahead of the ultimate accolade.
“To reflect the structure of the bakery sector in Scotland, this year we will crown the Best Craft Baker with three shops or less, the Best Retail Baker with four or more shops and the Best Wholesale Baker.”
2014 winner, George Asher – of craft bakery and family-owned business, Ashers Bakery – said: “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. We wish everyone all the best in this year’s competition.”
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’.
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