Pie awards no joking matter for family
News of two Ngaruawahia Bakehouse Cafe pies winning awards was thought to be a prank when owner Eav Huy Ing heard from friends on Wednesday morning.
The first-time entrant won bronzes for his steak and gravy pie and bacon and egg pie in the 2016 Bakels Supreme Pie Awards.
‘‘We didn’t believe them, we thought it was a prank.’’
After running the business for just over three years, he decided to take up the competition invitation which was sent out to bakeries nationwide, he said. ‘‘We just wanted to try it out.’’ Not expecting anything of it, Eav Huy said he and his brother, sister and mother who all work at the North Waikato bakery were certainly surprised.
The 26-year-old said it was his brother Eav Yu Ing who taught him how to make pies initially.
Now they both wake up at 4am most days to freshly make their products.
The freshness of the pies was the reason they were so good, Eav Huy said.
That and the perfect pastry moulded and cooked into the perfect shape.
‘‘We get a lot of compliments from customers [and] some customers say they come from Hamilton [for the pies].’’
Eav Huy said they also sourced their meat from the local butchery.
A bacon and egg pie from Tauranga’s Patrick’s Pie Group Gold Star Bakery was given the supreme award.
The best steak and cheese pie went to another Tauranga bakery, Baker Bob’s, and best mince and cheese went to Panmure Bakehouse in Auckland.
This year’s awards also attracted some more unusual entries. Fish pie has a tendency to divide opinion. Some love it, some hate it, and some people were force-fed it by their well-meaning grandmothers.
Celebrity chef Mark Southon said the range of pies on offer was incredible.
‘‘We saw some interesting skills and flavours, such as alpaca and kimchi; braised lamb shank and butter chicken.
‘‘There were nostalgic and Kiwi heritage pies like creamed paua, smoked fish and the addition of kumara to some pies.’’
A panel of 21 judges spent 10 hours judging the pies.
The awards received over 5,000 entries from more than 500 entrants.
Previous supreme winners have included a mince and cheese and a lamb cutlet and a potato top.
Siblings Eav Yu, left, Eav Huy and Chor Ching Ing along with mother Seamlang Tang work together to create the Ngaruawahia Bakehouse Cafe pies.