Friday, March 9, 2012 - 17:00

Newly-crowned champion Billy Deakin has returned to the Eden Project, home of the World Pasty Championships, to collect his award after his dog led him to miss the ceremony.

Billy, 33, from Mount Hawke near Truro, topped the hotly-contested Cornish Pasty Amateur category at the Championships with a traditional pasty that scored an impressive 84 out of 100 in the blind judging process. His was made using a unique one-handed crimping method.

Vindicating his unorthodox technique, judges commented that Billy’s entry was a “very nicely crimped pasty”. Having wolfed it down, they awarded it high marks in every category including 33 out of 40 in the all-important taste stakes.

He missed the awards ceremony at the end of the Championships, known as the “Oggy Oscars”, because he had to get home to walk his dog, Atari.

Billy’s prize was a hand-carved trophy made from balsa grown in Eden’s Rainforest Biome and crafted by David Forsyth of Driftwood Surfboards.

Billy said: “I’ve been cooking since I was very young, cooking with my gran, cooking with my mum and now cooking for the family. I remember making my first pasty at primary school when I was eight or nine.

“I don’t make pasties that often, probably two or three times a year. I eat my wife’s gran’s pasties more often than I make them. According to my wife, if Granny Chapman was here on Saturday I’d have been in second place.

“I’ve seen other people crimp and I do it differently, I do it one-handed. It’s a super-simple way of doing it but it seems to work.”

Billy uses local ingredients, including beef skirt from a local butcher and vegetables from farmers’ markets.

As well as being a world champion pasty-maker, Billy is a web designer and videogame producer and has published books on computing and cookery, the latter under the pen-name Judith Stone. He was also a two-time contestant on Masterchef and was knocked out before the quarter-finals in the 2008 series before being invited back the following year and reaching the same stage.

The aptly named Graham Cornish of Ginsters bagged two top prizes at the World Pasty Championships. Graham, who lives in Liskeard, Cornwall, was victorious in the Cornish Pasty Professional and Open Savoury Professional categories.

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 and winners were decided by a panel of 21 judges who awarded marks for taste, texture, appearance, pastry crimp and technical expertise.