Monday, March 5, 2012 - 11:15

The aptly named Graham Cornish of Ginsters bagged two top prizes at the first-ever World Pasty Championships at the Eden Project today (March 3).

Graham, who lives in Liskeard, Cornwall, was victorious in the Cornish Pasty Professional and Open Savoury Professional categories. His Cornish Pasty followed a traditional recipe of skirt beef and vegetables while his Open Savoury pasty contained a selection of smoked Cornish fish, parsley, saffron and Cornish clotted cream.

Billy Deakin of Mount Hawke, near Redruth, triumphed in the Cornish Pasty Amateur category while Suzanne Manson of Bristol scooped the Open Savoury Amateur category with her pasty containing wild rabbit poached in cider and leeks, finished with peas and lemon zest.

All entrants in the Cornish Pasty categories conformed to the traditional recipe, as laid down by the European Union Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). This means that only pasty makers based in Cornwall who make pasties in a traditional manner and follow a traditional recipe are able to label their products as Cornish pasties.

The event attracted more than 100 entries from all over the world, and winners were decided by a panel of 21 judges who awarded marks for taste, texture, appearance, pastry crimp and technical expertise.

Graham said: "I'm humbled to win this award. From the age of five-years-old I was making pasties. The secret of a great pasty is using the freshest local ingredients. Eden is a brilliant venue and this event raises the profile of the Cornish pasty. It's good for local sourcing and local farming and it's brilliant to get people eating more pasties."

The top three in each category were:

Cornish Pasty Professional
1 Graham Cornish of Ginsters in Callington, Cornwall
2 Ryan Smedley of Chough Bakery in Padstow, Cornwall
3 Jason Jobling of Warrens Bakery in Penzance, Cornwall

Cornish Pasty Amateur
1 Billy Deakin of Mount Hawke, Cornwall
2 Kathy Vian of Sticker, Cornwall
3 Tamsin Bunt of Penwithick, Cornwall

Open Savoury Professional
1 Graham Cornish of Ginsters in Callington, Cornwall
2 Luisa Ead of Chough Bakery in Padstow, Cornwall
3 Jay Sebastian of Bridgeport Pasty Company, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Open Savoury Amateur
1 Suzanne Manson of Bristol
2 Laura Jayne Atkinson of Truro, Cornwall
3 Gem Witchalls of Truro, Cornwall

Other competitors included Mike Amery, who was born in St. Austell, Eden's nearest major town, but has lived in Pennsylvania, USA, most of his life and returned to enter the World Pasty Championships.

Also competing was Beverley Milner of Cornish Maids bakery in Camelford, who baked a pasty with savoury filling in one end and sweet in the other, just like Cornish miners were said to have eaten.

A display pasty was baked to the oldest known Cornish pasty recipe, which dates back to 1746. The bakery team at the Lost Gardens of Heligan brought the recipe to life for the World Pasty Championships.

Elaine Ead from Padstow's Chough Bakery, recently seen on BBC TV's The Fixer, gave pasty-making demonstrations throughout the day.

The event was a celebration of the pasty and, as well as showcasing the finest proponents of the art, featured a packed programme of top-quality Cornish entertainment including folk choral group the Aberfal Oggymen, Redruth rappers Hedluv and Passman and the rainbow-jacketed funnyman the Kernow King.

The Championships were backed by the Cornish Pasty Association after it won European Union Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for the Cornish pasty last year.

Sharp's Brewery in Rock sponsored the competition and created a new celebratory brew for the contest available for one day only called Oggy Ale, named after the Cornish slang for a pasty.