Do you make the best pies in NZ? –

Entries are now open at for the Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards with plans underway for a huge celebration to mark their 25thth anniversary.

NZ Bakels managing director, Brent Kersel says: “Yes, that’s right! We had to postpone the 25th anniversary a couple of times due to Covid, but now we can’t wait to celebrate this milestone.”

“And for our 25th anniversary, we’ve asked Al Brown, one of New Zealand’s most recognized chefs, to help us judge the pies. We couldn’t have chosen a better person to be our celebrity chef judge. Al won’t hold back on any aspect of judging day on July 27.

He’ll be right in there among the other judges looking at pies, checking out the quality of the pastry, their ingredients, tasting them and thinking, constantly assessing if they are worthy of a gold award and whether he will see them again at the Supreme judging stage.

Al is that passionate about everything he sets his mind to and we’re very lucky to have him back for this monumental year.” Al was previously the celebrity chef judge in 2012.

He is recognized as a leading New Zealand chef, restaurateur, television presenter, author and entrepreneur. He owns Federal Delicatessen and Eatery depot in Auckland, Best Ugly Bagels with locations across NZ, Good Joe Coffee Co, Tipping Point wines, and he has launched several fine food products under his Al Brown brand.

Al says: “We are putting a lot of effort into our condiment products, especially ‘Old Yella’ Habanero Mustard and ‘Simply Red’ Kasundi Ketchup. We have just been ranged in 200 Woolworths in Aussie, so it’s exciting times getting into the overseas markets. Funnily enough, they are the perfect sauce to accompany any savory pie!

“The humble pie plays such an important role in the culinary fabric of Aotearoa. It is an honor to play a small part in helping to choose the best pie of the year.”

So what will Al be looking for?

“While thinking outside the box and being innovative is important, for me much of it is about nailing all the foundations of what makes a delicious eating pie. Texture of the pastry, does it work with the filling, filling to pastry ratio, balance of flavours, seasoning etc.”

Brent Kersel says: “If you think your pies are the stuff of legends, like those of our past Supreme winners, then get your entries in before they close on June 23 at 5pm. And may the best pie win!”

The 25th Bakels Supreme Pie Awards will be announced in Auckland on Tuesday August 1.

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