The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Pies & Sleepless Nights As Judging Day Approaches!

Pies & Sleepless Nights As Judging Day Approaches!

Just two weeks out from the Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards judging day, widely heralded 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 as July 25 approaches, 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.”

Supreme Pie Winning Staple

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 Lam 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.”

The Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards will be announced on July 30.

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!”

Looking For Inspiration?

Gourmet and Café Boutique category fillings can be very creative with ingredients such as: –

Braised Alpaca

Pork & Watercress

Japanese Beef Curry

Venison, Blackcurrants & Red Onion Jelly

Pork Belly in Apple Cider & Bok Choy

Beef Cheek, Apricots & Prunes

Venison, Mushroom, Bacon & Cheese

Turkey with Zesty Ginger & Lime

Matariki Boil Up Pie

Pohutukawa Smoked Beef Brisket & Beef Brisket cooked low and slow

Roast Pork Belly with Spiced Peaches

Corn Beef, Mushrooms, Bacon & Cheese

Fiordland Wapiti Shoulder (wild venison)


Kale, Kumara, Courgette & Smoked Gouda

Rabbit, Quince, Juniper Berries & Barley

Mexican Pie – Mince & Chilli Mexican Beans

Palusami Pie – Corned Beef

Curried Goat Meat

Steak, Bacon, Kidney & Rostered Grains

Toffee Apple Tart

Cointreau, Pear, Apple & Cherry Cheesecake

Cointreau Poached Pear with a Plum Custard

Toffee Apple

Toffee Caramel, Roast Apple & Pecan

Apple and turmeric

‘The Flintstone’ – Beef brisket (with the bone sticking out of the top pastry), bone marrow and mash

Fresh pineapple pie

English pork pie

Mussel, Salmon and Shrimp with baked lemon slice top

Vegetarian BBQ Cheese Burger, Beyond Meat Patty

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