Winning Tauranga pies gobbled up by locals

By Allison Hess, Anna Whyte

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After being crowned the supreme winner of this year's Bakels Supreme Pie Awards for a bacon and egg entry, the Gold Star Bakery stores in Bethlehem and 2nd Ave whipped up seven times the number of award winning pies than normal.

Tauranga baker Pat Lam of Patrick's Pie Group, who was still in Auckland, was crowned for his bacon, egg, cheese onion and tomato pie.

Mark Southon (left) and Patrick Lam, Supreme Pie winner, at the Bakels Supreme Pie Awards on Tuesday. Photo/Norrie Montgomery
Mark Southon (left) and Patrick Lam, Supreme Pie winner, at the Bakels Supreme Pie Awards on Tuesday. Photo/Norrie Montgomery

"I'm very, very excited," he said.

They won the supreme award for the same pie in 2009.

"The same recipe hasn't changed. The judges said our pies were very good looking and the pastry was very good and fluffy."

"I think it is the combination, they are pretty good together."

He said both Gold Star Bakery stores had been "quite busy".

Mr Lam said they didn't think they would win, and would be planning a party for the staff.

"I'm so happy and it's so exciting."

Co-owner of the 2nd Avenue Gold Star Bakery Martin Kwok said he heard the news last night.

"I couldn't sleep, I was thinking we'll be making so many pies," he said.

They had been preparing seven trays each containing 24 bacon and egg pies, in anticipation of locals keen to critique the crust.

The usually make just one tray a day.

Mony Chhoeuy, who owned Baker Bobs Bakery and Café in Greerton with her partner Teemun Chao, said the café had been busier than usual since winning the four pie awards.

Baker Bob's won gold for steak and cheese, and bronze for their vegetarian, potato top and gourmet pie.

Ms Chhoeuy said before she left Tauranga for Auckland to receive the awards people were constantly saying how good the pies were.

The bakery had a lot of repeat customers since opening in Tauranga last year.

Bay of Plenty Times staff took on the challenge of testing New Zealand's best pie. Here are their thoughts:

I took my first bite and was instantly hooked. I'm more of a steak and cheese pie kind of girl, but one bite of the bacon, egg, cheese, onion and tomato pie had me hungry for more. The bacon is proper, meaty bacon and in big pieces rather than being diced up. The egg is not scrambled so I got a mouthful of soft yellow yolk in the centre of the pie. The crust was crusty but not overly flaky, so I got more in my mouth than on my clothing. Add in tomato chunks and I'm in pie heaven.
- Sonya Bateson

I don't even like bacon and egg pies that much, but this was a whole new kettle of fish. I would probably eat five, they were that good. I'm also a messy eater and there was minimal pastry spillage. The pie definitely deserved the award.
- Anna Whyte

Every Bacon and Egg Pie needs to have its ingredients presented in a certain way to be perfect. The bacon must be big, by that I mean chunks rather than minced. On this front Patrick's had both minced and chunky bacon so a tick from me there.
The egg must also be whole, not in some slushy omelette form. Ten points to Patrick here for a perfect whole egg. In addition the tomato, cheese, and onion, top off the core ingredients without overpowering them. Put it all inside a perfectly golden puff pastry and it's a breakfast made in heaven.
- Andrew Warner

- Bay of Plenty Times

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