Date: 
Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 16:52

US pasty pioneer Mike Amery will be returning to Cornwall to compete in the third annual Eden Project World Pasty Championships on March 1 and, to celebrate, he baked a batch of Christmas pasties for “General George Washington”.

General Washington (played by John Godzieba) and his troops tucked into the tasty Cornish treats ahead of yesterday’s Christmas Day re-enactment of the 1776 crossing of the Delaware River.

Each year on Christmas Day this decisive moment in the American Revolutionary War has been authentically recreated in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, close to Mike’s home.

Mike Amery, 69, was born in St Austell, Cornwall, not far from the Eden Project, the home of the championships. He now lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and has competed in every Championship since its inception in 2012.

In 2013 he won the coveted “Pasty Ambassador” award with his friend Louisa Haggerty who also made the trip across the Atlantic.

Mike said: "As a Cornishman who has lived in the US for many years, returning to the World Pasty Championships has become a sort of pilgrimage for me. I was happy to be named Pasty Ambassador at this year's competition although I do have my sights set even higher this year so the Cornish crimping collective will need to stay on top of their game to be victorious."

Registration is now open for the World Pasty Championships 2014 and potential pasty participants can enter in one of eight categories. Categories are split between those who would like to make a traditional Cornish pasty, which abides by strict guidelines and is made in Cornwall, and those who want to make any other type of savoury pasty.

Once the crimping competitors have decided on which type of pasty to make, they can enter as a professional baker or chef (under their own name, rather than their employer’s), an amateur or a junior (aged 15 or under). There are also categories for companies – bakeries, butchers, pubs, shops or any other business that makes pasties to sell - to enter each type of pasty.

Anyone who would like to enter the competition can do so by visiting www.edenproject.com or by calling the Eden box office on 01726 811972. Entry costs £10 per adult category or £5 for the junior categories. This entitles the competitor and one guest to free entry to the Eden Project on the day of the competition. Entries will be strictly limited so early registration is advised.

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

A full day of entertainment is being devised around the competition including live music and comedy.

When he is not honing his pasty skills or feeding the troops, Mike operates The Inn at Bowman’s Hill, an eight-suite luxury bed and breakfast inn in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and one of the top-rated inns in the United States. For more information see www.theinnatbowmanshill.com.