A lamb cutlet and kumara mash pie from Wairarapa's Clareville Bakery has won this year's New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards.
Carterton baker Michael Kloeg's "perfect ratios" of pastry, meat and gravy won over the award's judging panel, which included celebrity chef Simon Gault.
"It was the best pie on the day," Brent Kersel, awards judge and managing director of Bakels New Zealand, said.
"The lamb was cooked to perfection and the kumara mash was a great flavour which worked well with the lamb. It reminded me of a Kiwi roast dinner."
Mr Kloeg's winning creation was named top pie at tonight's awards dinner in Auckland.
It was picked from more than 4800 pies by the 24-strong judging team, which spent a day assessing the entries from 533 bakeries around New Zealand.
Exotic pie flavours included rabbit and wild boar, caramelised rhubarb and wild berry, chilli con carne, spiced duck with bacon and slow cooked beef cheek and cauliflower cheese pie.
Mr Gault commended the bakers for this year's "top standard".
"I could imagine the gold category winner pies being served in a restaurant," he said.
"From my end, it was very difficult to judge, which is always a good sign.
"It was hard to make the final decision because I know there's a lot riding on these awards. Bakers' reputations are on the line," he said.
Chief judge Tim Aspinall said a good pie made people think: "man, I would like to get into that".
"It has to have a good glaze, rich colour, a nice shape and some lift in the pastry."
"Then, whatever the main ingredient is has to be there in substantial proportions. If it's a mince and cheese, then the mince has to be the bulk item - you need to be able to bite into the pie without it oozing out. If it does that, then there's too much gravy," Aspinall said.
For the judging, which took place on Thursday, the pies were blind coded into 12 categories, which included mince and gravy, steak, vegetables and gravy and steak and cheese.
As well as the supreme pie award, a winner was chosen for each category.
This year's entry total of 4832 pies was 5 per cent more than last year.
New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards, 2014
* Supreme winner: Michael Kloeg, The Clareville Bakery, Carterton
* Mince & Gravy: Vasokha Leng, Bernie's Bakery & Café, Browns Bay, Auckland
* Steak & Gravy: Roger Cathro, Pak N Save Petone, Petone
* Chicken & Vegetable: Bunchoeun Keo, One Tree Bakery, Mt Maunganui
* Gourmet Fruit: Bunnarith Sao, Dairy Flat Bakery, Albany, Auckland
* Gourmet Meat: Michael Kloeg, The Clareville Bakery, Carterton
* Vegetarian: Kim Hour Chheur, Angkor Wat Bakery, Waipukurau
* Bacon & Egg: Try Kong, Bakers Oven ,Whangaparoa
* Mince & Cheese: Vasokha Leng, Bernie's Bakery & Café, Browns Bay, Auckland
* Steak & Cheese: Lam Ho, Paetiki Bakery, Taupo
* Seafood: Lam Ho, Paetiki Bakery, Taupo
* Commercial/Wholesale: Murray Swetman, Gourmet Foods, Tauranga
* Café Boutique: Alan Woodford, Banana Pepper Café, Waihi