Part of the Perth Royal Food Awards of the Royal Agricultural Society of WA, the Bread and Pastry Awards are designed to showcase the best of Western Australian produce, to reward excellence, encourage producers and increase consumer awareness of the range of outstanding products Western Australia has to offer.
Along with other foodies I was invited along to observe the judging, listen to explanations on judging process and best of all get to taste some of the wonderful cakes and pastries.
The Bread and Pastry Awards were judged on 25 July at the Claremont Showgrounds and covered the gamut of breads – from traditional sandwich loaves, through Turkish breads, ciabatta, gluten free products to exciting artisan blends. The pastry side of the competition ranged over doughnuts, cheesecake, fruit tarts, classic vanilla slices, biscuits and much more. Pies – meat, vegetable and others – also made up part of the awards.
Entries in each category are judged according to established standards rather than against each other – that is judging is a merit based system, similar to wine judging – gold, silver and bronze awards are given rather than first, second, third etc. This can mean of course that in some categories no awards are made if standards are not met, while in others multiple gold, silver or bronze awards may be made – the short bread section for example had a number of gold awards – and I can assure you from those I tasted they were all worthy recipients, simply superb buttery, crumbly, sugary delights.
After the judging of each class is concluded the entrant with the highest score is awarded a Champion Trophy – these are for the highest rating loaf (Bakers Delight North Perth); highest rating speciality bread (Bakers Delight North Perth); highest rating pie (Miami Bakehouse); highest rating pastry (Cocochino) and highest rating cake (Cocochino). There are also two speciality awards – the most successful bread exhibitor (Bakers Delight North Perth) and the most successful pastry exhibitor (Pinjarra Bakery).
It was a fascinating experience and with the results announced and on the RAS website everyone has a ready go to guide to the best breads, cakes and pastries in WA.
Other categories in the Royal Food Awards include Beer, Sausages, Condiments, Olives, Chocolate, Dairy and of course, my favourite, Wine. Keep your eyes peeled for the results and of course get along to the Royal Show in September when you can experience all the best of WA food and produce.