A "perfect little mince and cheese pie" crafted by David Liem, of Greenland Bakery & Café in Botany, Auckland has taken out the Supreme Pie award ending the controversial two year winning streak for fruit pies.
the winning mince and cheese pie held its own in a field of exotic entries - including ostrich; pulled pork, peas, puha & scrumpy cider; duck breast, orange, bacon, mushroom & cream; tiger prawns, calamari, scallops & gurnard; lamb rump, beetroot, onion, lemon zest & dried thyme; and raspberry macaroon pie, red velvet pastry, raspberries, chocolate, cream & coconut.
Attracting a record-breaking 4,522 pies from 505 pie makers throughout the country (the highest ever entries in the 17 year history of the awards), this year's Supreme Pie Awards saw a resurgence of the 'classic' categories - with 634 mince and cheese, and a whopping 682 steak and cheese pies submitted for judging.
Judge and Bakels Executive Chairman, Duncan Loney described the winner as "impeccable."
"It was well rounded and well flavoured, with a perfect balance between the strength of the mince and the cheese. The pastry was good quality, with a crunchy flaky top, robust rim, and a lovely even colour. It stood out.
"The Kiwi love affair with the mince and cheese pie is certainly continuing. Cheese was only introduced to the humble mince pie in the last decade, but since then it's become a tried and true favourite," says Loney.
Celebrity judge Michael Meredith described the mince and cheese winner as iconic. "The balance between the pastry and filling was perfect - it brought me back to my old school days, the visits to the tuck shop. It's a classic."
While Greenland Bakery & Café has won multiple awards over the years, this is the first time Liem has taken out the Supreme spot.
Liem proved his prowess with vegetable pies too, taking home a Silver award in the vegetarian category with his broccoli, pumpkin, carrot, spinach, capsicum and mushroom, and a Bronze award in the chicken and vegetable category. And proving that pie making talent runs in the family, Liem's brother Bill Lenh Lim of Greenland Bakery won a bronze award for steak, vegetables and gravy in this year's competition.
Award winners were spread throughout the country with 22 winners (included Highly Commended) from Auckland.