Twelve-year-old Simon Cornish has become the third member of his family to be crowned a champion at the Eden Project’s World Pasty Championships.
Simon, from Launceston, joins his elder brother Henry, who won the Open Savoury Junior category last year and his dad Graham who won both Cornish and Open Savoury professional categories in the competition’s inaugural year, 2012.
The competition is now in its third year and Simon, who won the Cornish Pasty Junior category, was one of nearly 150 entries, the biggest field in its history.
Simon said: “It feels quite special to win this trophy after my dad and brother also won them. I practiced making pasties more for this year’s competition and it paid off.”
Also victorious was Terry O’Connor, originally from Mullion in Cornwall but now living in Watford, who won the Cornish Pasty Amateur category. Terry stayed in Lostwithiel, Cornwall the day before the competition and baked his pasties there to ensure he was able to enter the Cornish pasty category.
Terry is a returning champion, having won the Open Savoury Amateur category at last year’s championships. Terry also came third in this category this year.
Terry said: “It feels fantastic to be the Cornish Pasty Amateur champion, I’ve been making pasties for years and this is great. This is the category I wanted to win, definitely. I’ll be back every year to defend my title.”
Also recognised in the awards ceremony was Elaine Ead of the Chough Bakery in Padstow, who won the special Pasty Ambassador trophy. Elaine has been a tireless champion of the humble oggy, having played a role in the World Pasty Championships since their inception and risen to the role of chair of the Cornish Pasty Association.
This year Elaine, who plans to retire in 2014, ran pasty-making workshops during the championships with her friend and fellow Cornish Pasty Association committee-member Marion Symonds, who runs Portreath Bakery.
Elaine said: “It’s such an honour and such a shock to be named Pasty Ambassador. I’ve really enjoyed my career in baking, it’s been absolutely wonderful, and to have this in the final six or seven months of my career is a great honour. I’d like thank the Eden Project so much for this award. I’ll definitely be back next year for the bigger and better World Pasty Championships!”
Also known as the Olympics of the Oggy, the intense day-long competition in front of thousands of avid pasty fans celebrates Cornwall’s most famous food export in advance of St Piran’s Day on March 5. The competition is supported by the Cornish Pasty Association.
The day was crammed full of home-grown entertainment and activities for visitors to get involved with, including live music, pasty workshops, beer tastings and the chance to have a pint of Crimper’s Pinch, a special new beer by St. Austell Brewery. The brew was named by Lyndsey Stephenson of St. Blazey who won a Facebook competition to name it.
The full list of winners is: Cornish Pasty Amateur Winner – Terry O’Connor from Watford Second – Jon Lovejoy from Plymouth Third – Vanessa Farr from Bristol Cornish Pasty Professional Winner – David Timmins from Bugle near St. Austell, Cornwall Second – Jason Robbins from St. Just near Penzance, Cornwall Third – Ryan Smedley from Padstow, Cornwall Cornish Pasty Company Winner – West Cornwall Pasty Co. Second – Simply Cornish Third – Proper Cornish Cornish Pasty Junior Winner – Simon Cornish, aged 12, from Launceston, Cornwall Second – Michael Webb, aged 14, from Helston, Cornwall Third – Alice Avery, aged 12, from Pentewan, Cornwall Open Savoury Amateur Winner – Don McKeever from Bristol with chicken and chorizo Second – Jon Lovejoy from Plymouth with cheese, chorizo and chilli Third – Terry O’Connor from Watford with bacon, egg and tomato Open Savoury Professional Winner – Nik Brown from Liskeard, Cornwall with Cornish steak and Doom Bar ale Second – Andy Heath from Bodmin, Cornwall with Cornish Yarg and onion in a vintage Davidstow cheese sauce Third – Gemma Hearn from Bodmin, Cornwall with a Bahn Mi spicy meatball and sweet chilli sauce pasty Open Savoury Company Winner – The Shop @ Shop Ltd with a salmon, hake, pollock and monkfish pasty Second – Prima Bakeries Ltd. with a peppered steak pasty Third – Cornish Premier Pasties with a red Thai chicken curry pasty Open Savoury Junior Winner – Daniel Beddoes, aged 12, from Bristol with a chicken fajita pasty Second – Rhys Heath from Bodmin, Cornwall with a savoury mixture Third – Robbie Mowbray, aged 10, from Padstow, Cornwall with haggis, neaps and tatties
Cornish Pasty Junior winner Simon Cornish (left) and third-placed Alice Avery receive their awards from Elaine Ead of the Chough Bakery.