An­other day, an­other fi­nal for Clare­ville Bak­ery

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - JACK BAR­LOW

‘‘It's im­mensely tough, though. We're go­ing up against the best of the best.’’

Mike Kloeg is hop­ing for back to back suc­cess af­ter his Clare­ville Bak­ery was named in the fi­nals of this year’s New Zealand Food Awards.

The bou­tique Wairarapa bak­ery, just out­side Carter­ton, came third in last year’s New Zealand Food Awards with its Clare­ville Cracker.

This year it’s hop­ing to go two bet­ter with a whole­meal sour­dough bread.

‘‘We’re all su­per ex­cited,’’ Kloeg said.

Kloeg co-owns the Clare­ville Bak­ery with wife Rose. He said en­ter­ing com­pe­ti­tions helped the bak­ery judge it­self against oth­ers.

‘‘It gives us an abil­ity to bench­mark our­selves against the best in the coun­try,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s im­mensely tough, though. We’re go­ing up against the best of the best.’’

This year’s en­try was cre­ated us­ing older bak­ing tech­niques and in­gre­di­ents.

‘‘Generic bread is full of dough im­provers and con­di­tion­ers to help speed up the process, but we go back to tra­di­tional meth­ods of mix­ing, fer­men­ta­tion ... it makes for a much more flavour­some loaf,’’ Kloeg said.

Since its 2013 in­cep­tion the bak­ery has de­vel­oped an ex­ten­sive track record of en­ter­ing food com­pe­ti­tions, of­ten with suc­cess.

In 2014, it won the ti­tle of New Zealand’s best pie with its lamb cut­let and kumara mash pie, and in 2015 it was voted New Zealand’s best ru­ral cafe.

It takes the com­pe­ti­tions it en­ters very se­ri­ously.

Ear­lier this year at the Out­stand­ing NZ Food Pro­ducer Awards, Kloeg trav­elled from Carter­ton to Auck­land and back in one day to per­son­ally de­liver the bak­ery’s Clare­ville Cracker flat­breads.

At the time, he said the bak­ery’s suc­cess came down to hard work.

‘‘The other day on Facebook I came across a pic­ture of an ice­berg,’’ he said.

‘‘On the tip was writ­ten ‘suc­cess’ but un­der the wa­ter were words like ‘fail­ure’, ‘hard work’ - that sort of thing. That’s re­ally what it’s like.’’

Last year’s New Zealand Food Awards over­all win­ner was Wan­ganui’s Coastal Spring Lamb, with a lamb rack.

The re­sults of this year’s com­pe­ti­tion will be an­nounced on Oc­to­ber 12.

PIERS FULLER/FAIR­FAX NZ

Michael and Rose Kloeg of Clare­ville Bak­ery and Cafe.

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