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.

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