A Bay of Plenty baker with Rotorua stores has caught the attention of judges at the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards, with his mouth-watering bacon and egg creation being named the best.
Patrick Lam of Patrick's Pie Group Gold Star Bakery took home the coveted Supreme Pie Award with his bacon and egg pie, beating 539 other competitors.
Along with the coveted Pie trophy he won $7500 cash.
Mr Lam also received a silver award for his steak and cheese pie and a highly commended for his cointreau pear, apple, cheery cheesecake dish in the gourmet fruit section.
Rotorua's Raymond Khau, of Better Quality Pies Ltd, also got a nod from the judges, winning a silver award in the vegetarian category for his potato, pumpkin and kumara pie.
Top chef and celebrity judge Mark Southon said he was staggered at how passionate Kiwis were about their pies.
Originally from the United Kingdom, Mr Southon was impressed with the skills and innovative fillings bakers had brought to the table.
"Wow, I have never seen so may pies in one place in my entire life. The standard and creativity of this year's entries was outstanding. There were over 5000 entries from all corners of New Zealand."
The categories for the competition ranged from sweet to savoury, including mince and cheese and steak and gravy to gourmet meat and cafe boutique.
Chief judge and pie award veteran Tim Aspinall has been judging pies for 13 years and believes the competition has become tougher to judge every year.
"This year's entries were a mix of traditional braised meats, exotic combinations and ethnic fusions. What I look for in a winning pie... Does it say 'eat me'? Does it is have the wow factor and invite me to go further? Is the pastry evenly cooked to a golden brown? Does the aroma and flavour want me to pick it up and eat more?"
A panel of 21 judges spent more than 10 hours last Thursday judging 5284 pies, which were blind coded in 12 categories.