What it takes to bake a Supreme Award pie

What it takes to bake a Supreme Award pie

Patrick Lam has taken out the Supreme Pie Award eight times, so he knows a thing or two about pies. We asked him what it takes to win.

We are just two weeks away from Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards judging day and Pie King Patrick Lam says sleepless nights and years of developing new pie flavours with his bakery team are behind his past success. So, naturally he is in that ‘sleepless’ zone right now and hoping they have got the perfect recipes to impress the judges this year.

At the 25th anniversary Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards last year, a very surprised Patrick was called to the stage to receive his eighth Supreme Award and as it was announced he could be seen with his phone camera pointed at the stage ready to capture the winner. He just didn’t believe it might be him.

His Gourmet Meat category entry – Roast Duck with onions and mushroom wiped out all other competitors after years of trying to develop a duck pie recipe.

Patrick says: “Yes definitely sleepless nights. Every year we do a lot of thinking of what new flavours to create and try to impress the judges every year. I think about it so hard all throughout the day. There is a lot of trial and error until we come up with a new combination of flavours that we are happy with. Like last year, we entered the duck pie, but we have been trialling a duck pie for many years, but never managed to make it work the way we wanted. I’m happy that finally last year, we made it.”

While Patrick says the Gourmet Meat is his favourite category to enter, his biggest selling Supreme winner is more a Kiwi staple pie.

“With Gourmet Meat I have more freedom to experiment with different flavours. There is a lot more variety in ingredients and building flavours. But out of the eight Supreme winners, my biggest seller has to be the Mince and Cheese. It is a New Zealand classic. Everyone loves Mince and Cheese, so they all come to get the best.”

Patrick says he never takes it for granted how far he has come in the world of making award-winning pies and each win is celebrated with his family and his staff.

“Last year I celebrated with my family as always and I took all the staff out for dinner to celebrate and reward them. And also, I went on a holiday overseas with my wife as we had not been for a long time.”

Patrick says: “I always thought I could definitely win the competition and achieve New Zealand’s best pie, but I never thought I could do it eight times. It was a lot of hard work and dedication, and also some good luck that got me there. It was not something I expected, so I am very happy with the result.”

NZ Bakels managing director, Brent Kersel says: “It takes a lot of commitment to make a pie worthy of winning the Supreme Award or any of the other 11 categories. Could your local baker do it? If so, we’ll see their pies lining up on Judging Day, July 25 and may the best pie win!”

The Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards will be announced on July 30 and thousands of dollars of prizes are up for grabs.

Did you know?

* Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards is one of the largest annual food competitions in New Zealand.

* In 2024 just over 5000 pies are in the competition entered by 545 bakers.

* On average 20 judges from the baking industry fraternity choose the finalists before the gold award-winners are re-judged for the Supreme award.

* All judging is by blind judging – Each baker is supplied numbered pie boxes for the categories they enter. The box numbers are recorded on the judging sheets and it isn’t until all the judging has been completed, including the Supreme section, that the box numbers are matched up to the bakers.

* It takes approximately a 10-hour day of judging to find the winner.

Scroll to Top