"Olympics of the Oggy" as Pasty Championships returns to Eden
12:00pm Friday 1st March 2013 in News
From Pennsylvania to Penzance, bakers are rolling up for the World Pasty Championships at the Eden Project on Saturday.
More than 100 professional and amateur bakers will descend armed with rolling pins for the event considered the "Olympics of the Oggy".
The day-long competition in front of thousands of avid pasty fans will celebrate Cornwall’s most famous food in advance of St Piran’s Day on March 5.
Among the competitors will be Cornwall-born Mike Amery, who is so passionate about the pasty he has flown from his home in New Hope, Pennsylvania, USA, to source his ingredients fresh from a farm before preparing what hopes will be the perfect pasty.
Mike said: “Anyone in Cornwall knows that the pasty and the folklore around it ignite so much passion. Pasty-making is like a religion and the World Pasty Championships is in a sense judgment day. Sourcing fresh turnip for my pasty is part of it. We want to follow a turnip from farm to plate.”
Mike plans to bake two different entries, a traditional Cornish pasty that adheres strictly to the European rules and in the non-Cornish category, one of his personal favourites, a lamb pasty with mint and a blending of traditional vegetables, all fresh and locally sourced.
Also competing will be Billy Deakin of Mount Hawke, Cornwall, last year’s winner of the Cornish Pasty Amateur category. This year he will be baking Caribbean-style creation with oxtail, sweet potato and blended spices, as well as a traditional pasty.
Graham Cornish, who won both the "Cornish Pasty Professional" and "Open Savoury Professional" categories last year, will also be attending the event. Rather than competing, Graham will be giving visitors the opportunity to sample his prize-winning pasties.
Alongside the competition, the event will be crammed full of home-grown entertainment and activities for visitors to get involved with, from pasty workshops with The Chough Bakery, who featured on the BBC 2 programme The Fixer, to beer tasting at the Sharp’s real ale bar and speed-crimping competitions.
Elaine Ead, of the Chough Bakery, Padstow, and newly-elected chair of the Cornish Pasty Association, said: "The association is delighted to give the second-annual World Pasty Championships at the Eden Project its whole-hearted support. Pasty making is a big, vital and historic industry in Cornwall, and such a prestigious event celebrating our favourite food can only be good. “We're all looking forward to seeing the junior, amateur and professional bakers competing at the heart of a great day in celebration of a food enjoyed not just in Cornwall, but everywhere Cornishmen and women have travelled.
Elaine will be available all day to answer questions and allay any fears by small producers of the Cornish pasty regarding the implementation of European protected status for the Cornish Pasty.
Festival-goers will also be able to immerse themselves in tasty trivia with a whirlwind tour through the history of the pasty, a pasty forum and a demonstration from Cornishman Martin Chiffers, former executive pastry chef at the Savoy Hotel, London.
The day will end with an awards ceremony and a grand Oggy Oscars to celebrate, with music from funk band Skin Tight, and Mr. Champ, Eden’s very own gentleman DJ.
There is still time to register for the competition, which costs £10 for each entry, or £5 for junior entries, and allows each competitor to bring in one guest free on Saturday, March 2.
To read the full rules and register online, go to: www.edenproject.com/world-pasty-championships-rules or ring the Eden Box Office on 01726 811972.