Crimply the best: Record day beckons for Eden’s seventh annual World Pasty Championships
Pasty-makers from across the globe will be competing for the hotly-contested Oggy Oscars at the Eden Project on Saturday (March 3).
The seventh annual World Pasty Championships at the home of the famous Biomes is the grand finale of the first-ever Cornish Pasty Week which started on Sunday (February 25).
Eden partners with industry body the Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) to deliver the Championships and as a first for this year the CPA invited its members to take part in the World Pasty Championships Crimping Challenge to take place on the main stage on Saturday morning.
Across the eight classes of the pasty championships, total entry numbers are expected to surge to well over 200 for the first time with junior, amateur and professional bakers as well as companies competing. A panel of 30 judges will deliberate for around five hours to choose the winners.
Competitors include a big group of friends from Bristol who have never missed the annual event since the first in 2012 and have won a clutch of prizes.
Among them is Don McKeever who is the most decorated competitor in the history of the competition, with three category wins and one second place. This year he bids for a third consecutive title in the Open Savoury Amateur category.
Don said: "The Bristol pasty crew have been attending from day one - our annual pilgrimage. This year marks an exciting year for me personally as I try to go for three in a row."
Fellow Bristolian Vanessa Farr will be returning to defend her 2017 Cornish Pasty Amateur title too.
Another returning champ is Cornwall-born two-times amateur winner Terry O’Connor, who now lives in County Longford, Ireland. Terry said: “I’ve been every year and I never want to miss it. I’ll be back!”
The championships will be welcoming back one of the major winners from last year. Gerry Ramier, who is from St. Catherine's in Ontario, Canada, in the shadow of the Niagara Falls, won the Cornish Pasty Professional category in 2017.
Also among the overseas competitors will be UK-born Mike “The Pasty” Burgess of The Pure Pasty Co. in Vienna, Virginia, USA, returning for the second year running. He will be accompanied by his American colleague Jennifer Swanston, who has also entered the competition.
First time entrant Jill Martin from Deal in Kent, a previous winner of Channel 4’s Couples Come Dine With Me, will be entering a selection of Kentish Knocker pasties in homage to coal miners from the county.
The name comes from the myths of Kentish knockers, pixie-like creatures that would cause mischief down the mines.
As well as the pasty competition, Eden is staging a fabulous day’s entertainment in the stage area.
Britpop legends Dodgy, Cornwall-based 3 Daft Monkeys and legendary Redruth rappers Hedluv + Passman head the music bill.
Dodgy return after a memorable performance at Eden last June when they were special guests at the epic Blondie Eden Session.
Eden spokesman David Rowe said: “Our seventh pasty championships beckon with a great bill of entertainment and some serious competition across all classes. It looks certain that Saturday’s contest will be the biggest ever. What a great way to end a whole week celebrating the pasty, Cornwall’s culinary gift to the globe.
“Our thanks as ever go to the Cornish Pasty Association for partnering with us in the event and bringing so much to the table.”
The headline sponsor for the World Pasty Championships is the Cornish Pasty Association. The sponsors of individual categories are Carters Packaging, Hay Farm Produce, the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, the Craft Bakers Association, Heygates, Mono Equipment and St Austell Brewery.
The World Pasty Championships will host a collection of Cornish charities and community interest companies, who will be on hand during the day to discuss their work.
This group will include the St Austell Community Kitchen, the Cornwall Search and Rescue Team, Active8, Cuddra Women’s Institute, National Coastwatch Institution, St Austell Sea Cadets, Radio St Austell Bay, Stepping Stones Childcare, Treverbyn Community Hall, the Oasis Centre, Cornwall Samaritans, Cornwall Neighbourhoods 4 Change, St Francis Home for Animals, and People and Gardens.
Pasty fans can follow all the highlights of Cornish Pasty Week week on Facebook @cornishpastyassociation or Twitter @Cornishpasties1 for the latest updates, news, promotions, events and activities.
Residents of Cornwall and Devon can get unlimited access to the Eden Project until the autumn, with a Locals' Pass for residents of Cornwall and Devon – available to buy until 5 March 2018. More information at http://www.edenproject.com/visit/buy-tickets/locals-pass.