Reigning champion Billy Deakin was the big winner in the second annual World Pasty Championships, held at the Eden Project in Cornwall today.
Billy, from Mount Hawke, Cornwall regained the champion spot in the Cornish Pasty Amateur category of the prestigious awards. Last year he missed the prize-giving ceremony because he had to get home to walk his dog Zero.
Henry Cornish, 14, son of last year’s Cornish Pasty and Open Savoury Professional winner Graham Cornish, won the Open Savoury Junior category while his brother Simon came second in the Cornish Pasty Junior category.
More than 125 professional and amateur bakers descended on Eden and winners across eight categories were announced at a ceremony dubbed the Oggy Oscars in Eden’s Visitor Centre.
Billy Deakin said: ‘It feels great to win, last year it was a bit of a surprise but this year I really wanted to win. I made the same pasty I always make at home and the judges obviously liked it as much as I do. I put a lot of effort and time into it yesterday – I wanted to make sure it was as good as it could be. I’m over the moon, it’s been a really good day, loads of great entertainment and it tops it off to actually win again.’
Henry Cornish said: ‘I’m a bit surprised to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting it because I entered just for fun but I’m really happy. My dad winning last year opened up my eyes so I thought that I would have a go this year. I did a pizza pasty because I absolutely love pizza so I thought why don’t I try and make it into a pasty.’
Also recognised on the day was Cornwall-born Mike Amery, who is the co-winner of the special Pasty Ambassador award with his friend Louisa Haggerty. Mike is so passionate about the pasty he has flown with Louisa from his home in New Hope, Pennsylvania, USA, to source ingredients fresh from a farm before preparing what hoped will be the perfect pasty.
Mike baked two different entries, a traditional Cornish pasty that adheres strictly to the European rules and in the non-Cornish category, one of his personal favourites, a lamb pasty with mint and a blending of traditional vegetables, all fresh and locally sourced.
Mike said: ‘We’re very grateful for the award and hope we can live up to the title, we’ll now have to spread the word across the whole US! I definitely have some ideas to develop my pasties so we shall see what next year brings.’
Louisa said: ‘This is wonderful, it’s very nice to be recognised for having come so far and we’ll be back next year!’
Also known as the Olympics of the Oggy, the intense day-long competition in front of thousands of avid pasty fans celebrates Cornwall’s most famous food export in advance of St Piran’s Day on 5 March. The competition is supported by the Cornish Pasty Association.
Graham Cornish, who won both the Cornish Pasty Professional and Open Savoury Professional categories last year, also attended the event. Rather than competing, Graham gave visitors the opportunity to sample his prize-winning pasties.
Alongside the competition, the event was crammed full of home-grown entertainment and activities for visitors to get involved with, from live music and comedy and pasty workshops, to beer tasting at the Sharp’s real ale bar and speed-crimping competitions.
Cornish Pasty Amateur
Winner – Billy Deakin from Mount Hawke, Cornwall
Second – Jonathan Lovejoy from Plymstock, Plymouth
Third – Vanessa Farr from Bristol
Cornish Pasty Professional
Winner – Andy Heath from Bodmin, Cornwall
Second – Ryan Smedley from Padstow, Cornwall
Third – Tom Smith from Padstow, Cornwall
Cornish Pasty Company
Winner – Pasty Presto
Second – Warrens Bakery
Third – Brian Etherington Meat Company
Cornish Pasty Junior
Winner – Tabitha Delbridge, aged 6 from Helston, Cornwall
Second – Simon Cornish, aged 11, from Launceston, Cornwall
Third – Jessica Piotrowicz, aged 11, from Redruth, Cornwall
Open Savoury Amateur
Winner – Terry O’Connor from Watford.
Second – Mary Jane Burrage from Bristol
Third – Laura-Jayne Atkinson from Feock, Cornwall
Open Savoury Professional
Winner – Luisa Ead from Padstow, Cornwall
Second – Jason Jobling from Penzance, Cornwall
Third – Dave Plechowicz from St Stephen, Cornwall
Open Savoury Company
Winner – Chough Bakery
Second – The Royal Marine
Third – Pasty Presto
Open Savoury Junior
Winner – Henry Cornish, aged 14, from Launceston
Second – Christie Underwood
Third – Liam Cudlipp, aged 4, from Bodmin, Cornwall