Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 14:00

It’s baking hot at the Eden Project today as a record number of entrants descended for the third annual World Pasty Championships.

Nearly 150 companies, professional bakers, keen amateurs and juniors followed strict guidelines to present their traditional Cornish or more exotic variety of pasties for scrutiny.

One of the entrants is Richard Shaw from Hampshire who cooked a pasty which includes one of the hottest chillis in the world, the Bhut Jolokia, also known as the ghost chilli. Richard also baked a “D-day pasty” which has a traditional Cornish steak filling in one side and French steak, mushroom and garlic in the other.

Also present for the festivities are father and son TV chef duo Dick and James Strawbridge. Dick is compering the music and entertainment on the main stage and will be using a mechanical crimping contraption to compete against lightning fast pasty crimper James in the “Great Cornish Crimp-Off” later in the afternoon.

A panel of 30 judges have been spending four hours deliberating in advance of the planned Oggy Oscars award ceremony this evening.

Eden spokesman David Rowe said:  “Pasties are Cornwall’s gift to the world and we have brought it all back home to Eden again today in the Spring sunshine. 

“Judges are reporting a very high standard of entry with superb traditional steak and some very inventive non-Cornish concoctions. In particular we saw a big increase in the number of companies and professional bakers this year. Alongside the competition we have a fabulous celebration of local produce and a day of music, baking demonstrations and a forum on the pasty.” 

Today also saw the launch of a new campaign Charity Begins in Cornwall, with locally-based charities present on the day. Thanks to a partnership of local business and the Cornwall Community Foundation, donations made to the charities through are to be doubled pound for pound.