Date: 
Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 16:30

Bakers from across the globe are perfecting their crimping for the hotly-contested World Pasty Championships, to be staged at the Eden Project on March 2, 2019.

Entries open today (Tuesday December 18) for the gala celebration of Cornwall’s culinary gift to the world, returning to Eden for the eighth time.

Big winners from previous years will be competing with newcomers for the coveted trophies at the home of the famous Biomes.

Among the returning champions is Gillian Francis from St Cleer, Cornwall, who earlier this year scooped top prize in the Cornish Pasty Amateur category and picked up a third in another class, having only learned to crimp a fortnight previously.

Before entering the competition, teaching assistant Gillian had been trying out her pasties on her three sons but had not mastered crimping so called next door and asked her neighbour to show her how it should done.

She has since gone on to share her baking and crimping skills with The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain on BBC TV, all thanks to her triumph. Gillian plans to compete again in the same classes at the March 2 event.

Another big winner from last year was the Pure Pasty Co., based in Vienna, Virginia, USA, who were victorious in the Open Savoury Company category with a barbecue chicken pasty made with sweet potato, zucchini, red pepper, corn and pineapple. The “pineapple pasty” proved to be a headline grabber around the world.

Boss Mike “the Pasty” Burgess will be attending the event for the third year running, this time accompanied by chef colleague Stuart Moll who hails from Detroit, USA.

World Pasty Championships stalwart Matt Grant of The Great British Pasty and Pie Co. based near Ottawa, Canada, plans to return for the fifth year running. Matt was awarded the Pasty Ambassador prize in 2016.

Gerry Ramier, from St. Catherine's in Ontario, Canada, won the Cornish Pasty Professional category in 2017 and is due to return again next year.

Also on the way from Calgary, Canada, is The Grateful Plate Inc, entering for the first time.

The Land’s End Pasty Co., from the Dinkytown region of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, will also be making the trip across the Atlantic. The business is based on the city’s 4th Street, said to be the inspiration for Bob Dylan’s Positively 4th Street. Dylan himself once lived in an apartment close to the business.

Regular categories – amateur, professional, junior and company for both Cornish and non-Cornish pasties – all return and a new Pasty Ambassador will be honoured at the closing ceremony.

For the second year running, the championships will be the finale of Cornish Pasty Week, starting on Sunday, February 24.

The week of oggy-related festivity and fun is inspired by the Eden event and delivered with the project’s help by the Cornish Pasty Association (CPA), which represents the £300 million-a-year pasty industry.

Eden Chief Executive Gordon Seabright said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming back some of the stars of the pasty-making world and welcoming new ones to the World Pasty Championships on March 2. The event promises to be a great end to another memorable week celebrating the Duchy’s national dish and its many varieties.”

Full details of Cornish Pasty Week are soon to be announced by the CPA, who once again will be working with bakers across the length and breadth of Cornwall to promote the pasty.

In an exciting new development, the association will be holding heats to find the World’s Fastest Crimper, with the final being held at the championships on March 2.
A social media campaign will be launched, using the hashtag #pastysmile.

Jason Jobling, Chair of the Cornish Pasty Association, said: “The first-ever Cornish Pasty Week made a great splash in 2018 and reminded us of how much Cornwall and the world loves our favourite food.

“We’re relishing the chance to spread the pasty love again for a whole week starting on February 24 and ending with what is always a great day of celebration -  the World Pasty Championships at Eden.”

To enter the World Pasty Championships 2019 or find out more about the competition go to www.edenproject.com/pasty.

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