Great Atlantic crimp-off beckons as US and Canadian bakers head for World Pasty Championships
Some of North America’s best pasty makers are heading for an exciting crimp-off at the sixth annual World Pasty Championships at the Eden Project on March 4, 2017.
Four pasty specialists – two each from the United States and Canada – will be competing to be named the world’s top pasty maker at the annual event also known as the Oscars of the Oggy.
Entries open today (December 15, 2016) and contestants can now register for the contest which has been supported by industry body the Cornish Pasty Association since 2012.
Regular categories – amateur, professional, junior and company for both Cornish and non-Cornish pasties – all return while there is a new category for gluten-free pasties, open only to amateurs. A new Pasty Ambassador will also be named.
Gerry and Marlee Ramier from the Piskie Pie Company in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada, are making their first trip to the Championships next year. The couple recently opened their shop situated a stone’s throw from iconic Niagara Falls.
Canadian Army veteran Gerry said: “I grew up making Cornish pasties with my mum and gran, starting as early as I remember. I loved being in the kitchen with them, soaking up all their skills, so Marlee and I decided we needed to spread true pasty love to the beautiful Niagara region we are lucky enough to call home.”
Also making his World Pasty Championships debut in 2017 is Mike “The Pasty” Burgess who runs The Pure Pasty Co. in Vienna, Virginia, USA.
British-born Mike, who sells 1,500 pasties a week and supplies the British Embassy in Washington DC, said: “I love Cornwall and used to spend family vacations there when we were younger.
"When I decided to start this business I came to Cornwall to do all my research and learn from the best pasty shops. I’m particularly grateful to Chough Bakery in Padstow who took me in for a day to show me how to crimp.”
Returning for his third competition running will be 2016 World Pasty Championships Ambassador Matt Grant from The Great British Pasty and Pie Co. in Ottawa, Canada.
Matt, who delivers handmade pasties through blizzards and snowdrifts, said: “I'm super excited about the World Pasty Championships next year.
"I'm working on some recipes at the moment but as usual I won't be disclosing which pasty I will enter until the day of the event. I can't wait to get back as the Cornish people are so friendly and welcoming.”
The final member of the North American contingent is another former Pasty Ambassador and proud Cornishman turned Pennsylvania hotelier Mike Amery who has been competing since the contest's inception.
The Cornish Pasty Association has welcomed the additional international entrants. Chairman Jason Jobling said: “It’s great to see more international entries come in. We all know that wherever the Cornish went overseas, they took their pasty-making skills with them.
"The World Pasty Championships is a terrific way to celebrate our most famous food. It is a fun day with a proper baking competition at the heart of it.”
Eden’s Head Chef Tony Trenerry said: “It is great that the World Pasty Championships has the continued support of the industry body and that the fame of the competition is spreading with new international entries rolling in.
"There’s an increasing demand for gluten-free food and our new class reflects that.”
In 2011, after a long campaign, the Cornish Pasty Association won European Union Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for the Cornish Pasty which 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.
For all World Pasty Championships rules and entry details go to www.edenproject.com/pasty