Scottish Baker of the Year 2022/23 honors list
Members came out in force to attend Scottish Baker’s annual conference, President’s dinner, workshop on the future of Scotland’s baking industry post-pandemic and entertainment by the impressionist comedian and singer award-winning Jess Robinson, but the event that won the crowning glory was the long-awaited awards ceremony.
This year’s competition has been inundated with entries, making it even more difficult for the judge to unearth the best scone, bread, savory, morning roll, cake and biscuit from Scotland, as well as the new pastry categories to the French and Danish and without.
I was honored to be invited to be part of this troupe,who had the task of assessing, smelling, crumpling and tasting almost 500 treats from 57 master bakers from all over Scotland.
“With 50 industry professionals on hand at our annual judging day to put each product through its paces, our winners can be justifiably proud of their achievements,”said Alasdair Smith, chairman of Scottish Bakers.
Added Mich Turner MBE, Scottish Bakers Ambassador, “With nearly 500 products from 57 registered bakers and with each product evaluated for appearance, baking quality and taste, Trois Petits Boulangers should be very proud of their success here today.”
Bringing home how worthy he is to carry the title, The Three Little Bakers also picked up four other awards, including his Morning Roll winning Gold in Best of Region, as well as Silver under the banner national; its Fruit Scone won a silver in the region and a silver at the national level; his Multiseed Sourdough won Bonze in Best of Region; and his Potato Scone won silver in the National Heat.
“We’re thrilled, we can’t tell you how proud we are of our team and their hard work, which paid off not just with winning products, but with the ultimate victory,” said Paddy and Jane Murphy of The Three Little Bakers.
“We look forward to being Scottish Baker of the Year and enjoying the benefits that world champions will bring to our business.”
Salute the winners
Despite the challenges, many Scottish businesses have gone above and beyond to shine over the past year, honored by the judges for their passion and dedication.
Fisher & Donaldson received the Bakery Café of the Year award, with runners-up Cuckoo’s Bakery and Mimi’s Bakehouse both winning.
As mentioned above, The Three Little Bakers won Craft Baker of the Year, but hot on their heels were Christie the Bakery, JM Bakery and Keptie Bakery Ltd.
Retail Craft Baker of the Year was awarded to Stephens Bakery, with finalists Ashers Bakery Ltd and Bayne’s the Family Bakers.
McGhee’s Bakery was named Wholesale Baker of the Year, followed closely by runner-up Fergusons Bakery.
Extending the influence further, Scottish Bakers also canvassed the public for the Customer Choice Awards. As we all know, the public can often be the harshest critics, so a big shout out to the following winners.
- Bakery Café: Annie’s Bakery
- Artisanal baker: Dels Rolls
- Retail Artisan Baker: Harry Gow Bakery
- Wholesale Bakery: Nevis Bakery Ltd
“We truly congratulate all of our winners and thank the voting public for taking the time to vote for their favorite bakery business,” added Smith.
The stuff of champions
Reids of Caithness achieved first place in the Biscuit category for its caramel filled shortbread, winning both the Gold National Award and the Gold Regional Award.
Breadalbane Bakery & Pantry received National Gold for their White Sourdough, while Vegan Bay Baker won Gold – Best in Region for their Traditional Sourdough.
The best yeast bread in Scotland was Breadalbane Bakery & Pantry’s Low GI Multigrain Bread. In the regional heat, JG Ross (Bakers) Ltd won gold for its multigrain bread.
JM Bakery’s novelty birthday cake won gold and silver for best celebration cake in Scotland. Two winners took bronze: Christie the Baker for their Celebration Cake and Harry Gow Bakery for their SBOTY Cake.
Without cakes and cookies
A new category this year, Cuckoo’s Bakery went gold for its Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake (No Gluten Ingredients [NGCI]); while Fisher & Donaldson received the silver medal for its Florentine dark chocolate (NGCI and vegan); and Vegan Bay Baker took bronze for their Caramel Dough Ring.
As a judge of this category – along with industry veteran David McKerrow – I hope to see this category become a major player in the future, especially as the free from trend is booming.
Harry Gow Bakery’s vanilla and raspberry slice won gold in national and regional events.
Bayne’s the Family Bakers won national gold for its Morning Roll, while The Three Little Bakers won regional title for its entry.
With a host of unusual offerings ranging from Bolognese pie with grana padano breadcrumbs to broccoli, cauliflower and cheese pie and chicken and black pudding pie, a classic has been voted Scotland’s best savory – Goodfellow & Steven’s Steak Pie. A slightly more unusual starter won gold in Regional – Lasagna Pie from Maclean’s Highland Bakery.
No matter how you pronounce it, Mackenzie’s Bakery’s Fruit Scone was considered a winner, in both national and regional categories.
Goodfellow & Steven for his Aberdeen Roll (Buttery); John Gillespie & Sons Ltd for Best Potato Scone in Scotland; Strawberry Danish from Fisher & Donaldson (Vennoiserie); and Tower Bakery for its Farl in the No Bread category.
Scottish Bakers has been supporting the interests of the country’s baking industry for over 130 years, providing skills development, technical information and support, industry intelligence, legal advice, financial rebates and social media and commercial. It also runs the World Championship Scotch Pie Awards to celebrate excellence in the industry.