Bakers can test their pastry creations against the rest of the country, with entries now open for the 2018 NZ Bakels Supreme Pie Awards.

With entries being made from bakeries in Cambridge, Te Awamutu and Kihikihi, the winning pie could well come from Waipā.

Cambridge Bakery owner Ra Sok is preparing to enter three categories this year — mince and cheese, steak and cheese and gourmet meat.

"It's our second time entering," Sok said.

Advertisement

"Unfortunately we didn't take home any awards last year, but we've got a new oven and we're hoping to do much better this year."

One of this year's judges is former Te Awamutu man Ben Bayly.

He was a household name, thanks to the success of his Auckland restaurants, The Grove and Baduzzi.

Some will also recognise Bayly from the first two seasons of My Kitchen Rules NZ.

Bayly still considered Te Awamutu home and said Viands Bakery in Kihikihi was one of the best places to buy a pie.

Viands Bakery has achieved success in the awards in previous years and has confirmed it would enter again this year.

Bayly remembered with fondness yearning for a pie when returning home to New Zealand for a break occasionally while away for 10 years.

"I used to come home every two years or so and dad or mum would pick me up at the airport and I'd always stop at a service station to get a pie straight off the plane. You just can't get a good Kiwi pie overseas."

Bayly's preference was steak and cheese.

"I just can't go past it. It's bloody yum." He said he was no pie-making expert but he was a taste expert.

Entries for the 2018 NZ Bakels Supreme Pie Awards close at 5pm on Thursday, June 28.

They will be judged on July 26 and the winners will be announced at the awards dinner in Auckland on Tuesday, July 31.

* Enter at pieawards.nz/