A competitive revival in Scottish baking
Baking has had a huge revival in the last few years and the recent series of the Great British Bake Off has certainly contributed to growing interest in this traditional past time. While domestic baking is certainly booming, local bakeries may be seen as not getting as much recognition as they should but initiatives like The Scottish Baker of the Year Awards aim to better this. ESPC reports...
The Scottish Baker of the Year Awards
The Scottish Baker of the Year Awards is a competition where customers across Scotland can vote for their favourite local baker and bakery products in categories such as: morning rolls, scones, individual cakes, savoury bakes, bread and biscuits. The scoring for each is based on appearance, freshness, taste and value for money.
Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of Scottish Bakers -the Trade Association supporting bakers in Scotland who also created the competition- said to ESPC:
"Your local craft baker prepares your breads and cakes every night and it is time to say big thanks! We also want all customers to show their appreciation to their local baker for the consistent quality of their baked goods."
Scottish Bakers launched the Competition in 2012 and the awards were compered by Paul Hollywood from the BBC's Great British Bake Off. The organisers of the awards received 12,500 votes for bakers from customers across Scotland.
In February 2013 customers will have the opportunity to vote again and Paul Hollywood will once again be the judge for the 2013 Awards that will be presented at the Scottish Bakers Annual conference on the 18th May at the Crown Plaza hotel in Glasgow.
Harry Gow: Proud Winner
Harry Gow was a winner at the 2012 Scottish Baker of the Year Awards. Harry says that he entered the competition to be recognised officially as the best baker in Scotland.
When asked what helped him to win the competition he said:
"Our ethos is quite different to many other bakers in that we insist on making everything from scratch. It's not just the bread and rolls or the cakes and biscuits. We go as far as making the mayonnaise for our sandwich fillings and the jam for our cakes.
This requires a lot of extra effort on our part but we think it's worth it because it makes our product taste better. We also source the best and freshest ingredients locally where possible. However, there are occasions where we need extra special ingredients from the continent - such as butter from France for our croissant, chocolate from Belgium and Seville Oranges for our marmalade."
But the awards have meant a lot more to Harry than just being recognised, he notes their importance on much larger scale saying
"It raises the overall profile of local bakers, not just us but all the other independent bakers out there. It's an increasingly tough marketplace with supermarkets and coffee shops all taking their share. So anything to raise the profile of the local independent baker is a good thing."
For more on The Scottish Baker of the Year Awards visit their website - scottishbakers.org/consumer/your-local-baker- or to find out how to participate in next year's voting process.