Scotland’s bakers were out in socially distanced force in Dunfermline this morning as they proudly delivered up to 10 of their star products to be taste tested by some 55 industry experts at the first Scottish Baker of the Year Judging Day since 2019.
With nearly 500 products from 57 bakers for the judges to assess, in a morning and an afternoon session, to ensure social distancing was maintained, it was a busy day for the judges who were looking at the appearance, the quality of the bake and the taste of each and every product.
With awards on offer in 13 categories for the best scones, loaves, savoury items, morning rolls, individual cakes and biscuits as well as the latest categories including French and Sweet Yeast Raised pastries and Free-from bread, biscuits and cakes, the competition was very hot in the judge’s chamber.
But the results will remain a secret until the Scottish Bakers Annual Conference & Awards on 6th and 7th May in Glasgow when the regional and national winners will be announced along with the ultimate title of Scottish Baker of the Year.
Customers can still have their say until 6th April as voting in the Customer Choice Awards is still open. The results of this vote will determine who will be crowned the Customer Choice winner across the four categories: Bakery Café, Craft Baker, Retail Craft Baker and Wholesale Baker – so vote today. Head into your local bakery and look out for the bakery’s unique web-link, QR code or use the in-store paper voting forms.
“I am really excited to be here today; it’s been a long journey to reach today’s judging and I am really keen to see, taste and smell as many entries as I can get through as every time we run this competition there are surprises,” says Alasdair Smith of Scottish Bakers who organise the competition, now in its 10th year.
“I have been amazed at the resilience and creativity of all of our members over the last 2 years and I am keen to see how they have used the time not just to creatively meet the needs of their communities with fresh products daily but also to develop new and exciting products as well as perfecting the classics with new twists.”
“Bakers in Scotland truly are the hidden gem of our economy and of our culture and we are delighted to give Scottish Bakers the chance to shine and showcase their skills,” he continued “but given world events at the current time, I would like to confirm that, on behalf of its members, we will be making a donation to the Disasters and Emergencies Committee fund.”
The winners will be announced at a glittering Gala dinner at the Hilton in Glasgow on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th May 2022 when the sector will come together to focus on Baking the Future taking a look at how bakers are adapting their businesses to explore new opportunities.
11: BBC’s Bryan Burnett
15: BBC’s Barbara Wallace
01: Judges working hard judging the bread category
03: Zara Janjua, multi award-winning broadcaster and a familiar face on TV, and voice on radio and podcasts.
How the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards 2022/23 works
Customer Choice Awards:
Customers vote for their favourite baker online via each bakery’s unique web-link, QR code or using the in-store paper voting forms, from the 3rd February – 6th April 2022.
Paper votes MUST be received by 6th April, any paper votes received after this date may not be counted.
These votes will then determine the winners of the Customer Choice Awards in the four categories: Bakery Café, Craft Baker, Retail Craft Baker and Wholesale Baker
The finalists and winners of the customer choice awards will be presented on Friday 6th May 2022 following the announcement of the regional product award winners.
From 3rd February bakers were able to register up to 10 of their products that they would like to submit for product judging on 16th March 2022 and the regional and category winners will be selected from these entries.
Each Scottish Bakers member who achieves a bronze award or above will be eligible to take part in the business judging part of the competition.
The four business categories are: Craft Baker of the Year (three shops or less); Retail Craft Baker of the Year (four shops or more); Wholesale Baker of the Year (no shops) and Bakery Café of the Year for cafés who produce the bulk of their own baked goods either on-site or at a dedicated bakery unit.
The ultimate Scottish Baker of the Year Award will be awarded to one of the four category winners.
Non-members will not be eligible to enter the business judging part of the Scottish Baker of the Year competition.
When will the awards be presented?
Regional Awards and Customer Choice Awards will be presented on Friday 6th May 2022 and the National Awards (which includes special awards), business category winners and the overall Scottish Baker of the Year 2022/3 will be announced on Saturday 7th May 2022.
Read more of the latest industry developments in our new edition: January/February 2022 Single Issue form – International Bakery (in-bakery.com)