Ottawa and peppery – Canadian company bids to take World Pasty Championships by storm
A baker from the Canadian capital Ottawa is travelling more than 3,000 miles to compete with the best on the planet at the Eden Project’s World Pasty Championships.
Matt Grant runs The Great British Pasty and Pie Co. with the support of his partner Jen Debenham and delivers pasties from a right-hand drive Land Rover which he imported from the UK.
He said: “I’m really proud of my pasties and I hope they are as well received in Cornwall as they have been here in Canada. Regardless of the result, I’m sure we’ll have a great time at the Championships and we’re very excited to have the opportunity to attend.
Matt added: “Lots of people in Canada haven’t heard of them so we give out free samples and nine out of ten people who try them end up buying several on the spot. Our customer base is growing through word-of-mouth and the British High Commission in Ottawa even ordered from us just before Christmas.
Matt was born in London and grew up there. His father grew up in Plymouth, Devon, and his mum in Dublin. Matt moved to Canada in the late 1980s and fell in love with pasties on a visit to the UK in 2012.
Not able to find a good pasty locally, he started making them himself for friends and family. After leaving his job as an acoustic engineer, he decided to start selling his pasties to the public.
He is planning to enter several flavours into the Open Savoury Company category of the World Pasty Championships.
The acclaimed global competition – also known as the Olympics of the Oggy - is returning to the Eden Project for the fourth year running and registration is now open.
The competition is the centrepiece of a day of pasty celebrations, featuring music and comedy headlined by Cornwall’s own international superstars The Fisherman’s Friends and top rap duo Hedluv and Passman.
Cornish comic Colin Leggo has also been confirmed for the entertainment bill at the championships.
Colin is known for his YouTube parodies, including Grand Theft Cornwall which has amassed nearly 320,000 views, and Cornish Is, an affectionate look at Cornwall made famous by BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills.
Colin brings his unique take on Cornish culture to the stage, with his gloriously silly stand-up show that tackles the big issues such as Gus Honeybun, Cornish dating and mizzle.
The World Pasty Championships are now a firm fixture on the festival calendar, being staged each year on the Saturday before St Piran’s Day.
The Championships are backed by the Cornish Pasty Association after it won European Union Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for the Cornish pasty. 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.
Anyone who would like to enter the competition can do so by visiting www.edenproject.com/pasty 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.