Another day, another final for Clareville Bakery
‘‘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.
Michael and Rose Kloeg of Clareville Bakery and Cafe.