Reigning champion Billy Deakin was the big winner in the second annual World Pasty Championships, held at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
Billy, from Mount Hawke, Cornwall regained the champion spot in the Cornish Pasty Amateur category of the prestigious awards. Last year he missed the prize-giving ceremony because he had to get home to walk his dog Zero.
Henry Cornish, 14, son of last year’s Cornish Pasty and Open Savoury Professional winner Graham Cornish, won the Open Savoury Junior category while his brother Simon came second in the Cornish Pasty Junior category.
More than 125 professional and amateur bakers descended on Eden and winners across eight categories were announced at a ceremony dubbed the Oggy Oscars in Eden’s Visitor Centre.
Billy Deakin said: “It feels great to win, last year it was a bit of a surprise but this year I really wanted to win.
“I made the same pasty I always make at home and the judges obviously liked it as much as I do. I put a lot of effort and time into it yesterday – I wanted to make sure it was as good as it could be.
“I’m over the moon, it’s been a really good day, loads of great entertainment and it tops it off to actually win again.
“We’ve put the dog in a kennels and we’re out celebrating tonight so it could be a late one!”
Henry Cornish said: “I’m a bit surprised to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting it because I entered just for fun but I’m really happy. My dad winning last year opened up my eyes so I thought that I would have a go this year.
“I did a pizza pasty because I absolutely love pizza so I thought why don’t I try and make it into a pasty.”
Also recognised on the day was Cornwall-born Mike Amery, who is the co-winner of the special Pasty Ambassador award with his friend Louisa Haggerty. Mike is so passionate about the pasty he has flown with Louisa from his home in New Hope, Pennsylvania, USA, to source ingredients fresh from a farm before preparing what hoped will be the perfect pasty.
Mike baked two different entries, a traditional Cornish pasty that adheres strictly to the European rules and in the non-Cornish category, one of his personal favourites, a lamb pasty with mint and a blending of traditional vegetables, all fresh and locally sourced.
Mike said: “We’re very grateful for the award and hope we can live up to the title, we’ll now have to spread the word across the whole US. I definitely have some ideas to develop my pasties so we shall see what next year brings.”
Louisa said: “This is wonderful, it’s very nice to be recognised for having come so far and we’ll be back next year.”
Known as the Olympics of the Oggy, the intense day-long competition in front of thousands of avid pasty fans celebrates Cornwall’s most famous food export in advance of St Piran’s Day on March 5. The competition is supported by the Cornish Pasty Association.
Graham Cornish, who won both the Cornish Pasty Professional and Open Savoury Professional categories last year, also attended the event. Rather than competing, Graham gave visitors the opportunity to sample his prize-winning pasties.
Alongside the competition, the event was crammed full of home-grown entertainment and activities for visitors to get involved with, from live music and comedy and pasty workshops, to beer tasting at the Sharp’s real ale bar and speed-crimping competitions.
The full list of winners is: Cornish Pasty Amateur Winner – Billy Deakin from Mount Hawke, Cornwall Second - Jonathan Lovejoy from Plymstock, Plymouth Third - Vanessa Farr from Bristol Cornish Pasty Professional Winner - Andy Heath from Bodmin, Cornwall Second - Ryan Smedley from Padstow, Cornwall Third - Tom Smith from Padstow, Cornwall Cornish Pasty Company Winner - Pasty Presto Second - Warrens Bakery Third - Brian Etherington Meat Company Cornish Pasty Junior Winner - Tabitha Delbridge, aged 6 from Helston, Cornwall Second - Simon Cornish, aged 11, from Launceston, Cornwall Third - Jessica Piotrowicz, aged 11, from Redruth, Cornwall Open Savoury Amateur Winner – Terry O’Connor from Watford.
Second – Mary Jane Burrage from Bristol Third – Laura-Jayne Atkinson from Feock, Cornwall Open Savoury Professional Winner – Luisa Ead from Padstow, Cornwall Second – Jason Jobling from Penzance, Cornwall Third – Dave Plechowicz from St Stephen, Cornwall Open Savoury Company Winner – Chough Bakery Second – The Royal Marine Third – Pasty Presto Open Savoury Junior Winner – Henry Cornish, aged 14, from Launceston Second – Christie Underwood Third – Liam Cudlipp, aged 4, from Bodmin, Cornwall.