Top pies have spe­cial Cam­bo­dian source


New Zealand’s best pies have been com­ing from Cam­bo­di­anKiwi bak­eries over the past few years.

The NZ Bakels Supreme Pie Awards were an­nounced on Tues­day night and once again it was Cam­bo­dian-born bak­ers tak­ing away the supreme award, as well as a swag of gold, sil­ver and bronze medals.

Top of the 2017 list of win­ners was Lee Ing - from Taupo’s Fast and Fresh - who took out the supreme award for his veni­son, ba­con, mush­room and cheese pie. Last year’s win­ner, Pa­trick Lam re­ceived awards for his steak and gravy, chicken and veg­etable, gourmet meat and ba­con and egg. Lee Ung of Crown Bak­ery & Coffee in Auck­land’s Pukekohe topped the mince and gravy cat­e­gory.

They were all Cam­bo­di­ans who learned to bake in New Zealand and have been scal­ing the ranks, win­ning pie awards an­nu­ally. There have been many oth­ers in the his­tory of the awards too.

Ing at­trib­uted his move into bak­ing to the Cam­bo­dian com­mu­nity.

He did not have much fam­ily around New Zealand, so he was nat­u­rally drawn to work­ing with other Cam­bo­di­ans at Tun’s Bak­ery in Haw­era, in South Taranaki.

He re­cently took over Fast & Fresh Bak­ery in Taupo.

‘‘There are lots of Cam­bo­dian bak­eries around New Zealand. In some parts there are more than oth­ers.‘‘ Ing said.

Bak­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand pres­i­dent Kevin Gil­bert said the bak­ing in­dus­try in New Zealand was rel­a­tively close but, ‘‘in gen­eral, don’t give away tips and se­crets’’.

How­ever that could be dif­fer­ent in in the Cam­bo­dian com­mu­nity, Gil­bert said.

‘‘Be­cause of the cul­tural com­mu­nity, it’s prob­a­bly got quite a bit to do with it. They are all close to­gether, per­haps that helps.’’

The bak­ers had over time come to re­alise what the judges were look­ing for, so that helped too,

‘‘Pat [Lam] has just mas­tered it, he just knows how to make a su­perb pie.

Tau­ranga-based Lam has won the supreme award five times since he started en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, and has re­ceived over 50 medals for his range of pies.

‘‘All the Cam­bo­dian bak­ers try re­ally hard and get re­ally se­ri­ous over the pie com­pe­ti­tion stuff,’’ he said.


Lee Ing and wife Linna Tuy from Fast and Fresh Bak­ery Taupo sell New Zealand’s best pie.

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