Pasty makers from across the globe defied a week of extreme weather to descend on Cornwall’s Eden Project for the seventh annual World Pasty Championships yesterday, Saturday March 3rd.
More than 200 pasties were entered into the competition, the highest number in the history of this grand celebration of Cornwall’s culinary gift to the world. The event formed a fitting finale to the first-ever Cornish Pasty Week.
Among the big winners was the Pure Pasty Co., based in Vienna, Virginia in the Washington DC suburbs, who were victorious in the Open Savoury Company category with a barbecue chicken pasty made with sweet potato, zucchini, red pepper, corn and pineapple.
Boss Mike “the Pasty” Burgess attended the championships for the second year running, this time accompanied by his bakery manager Jennifer Swanston, who is originally from New York City.
Cheshire-born Mike, who opened his bakery in 2010, said: “We are ecstatic with the win – over the moon. The winning pasty is a real team effort – an American fusion.”
Jennifer added: “What a few days! I’ve seen a rare Cornish snowstorm, been to the Eden Project Biomes and now we have won a World Pasty Championships trophy to take home with us. It’s absolutely surprising and fantastic.”
Mike and Jennifer were one of a number of contestants from North America, a contingent that also included 2017 Cornish Pasty Professional winner Gerry Ramier, from St. Catherine’s in Ontario, Canada, and 2016 Pasty Ambassador Matt Grant, from Ottawa, Canada, who travelled with his Canadian colleague Lauren Trick.
A group of pasty enthusiasts from Bristol who have entered the competition every year it has been running were awarded the prestigious Pasty Ambassador award. This was the first time the award has been given to a group rather than an individual.
The group includes Don McKeever, who is the most decorated pasty-maker in the history of the World Pasty Championships with three wins and one second place to his name. This year, the group was smaller than usual due to the poor weather in the run up to the competition, but Don and a handful of others made it to Cornwall.
Don said: “It’s a huge surprise to be named pasty ambassadors. We’ve worked hard over the years and we really enjoy the event. It’s really nice for the whole group to get the recognition this year. The guys who couldn’t make it will be delighted and we’ll share the trophy round during the course of the year.
“The World Pasty Championships are a fantastic occasion and Eden still put on a great show despite the weather. We always feel very welcome and it keeps us coming back every year.”
Vanessa Farr, another member of the Bristol pasty crew, who won the Cornish Pasty Amateur title in 2017, said: “It’s brilliant to win this award because we love coming here.
“It’s great that Eden appreciates our support and we really appreciate the opportunity to come down to Cornwall and take part in the competition. Being ambassadors is a big responsibility, we’re going to have to eat more pasties!”
Gillian Francis from St Cleer, near Liskeard in Cornwall, won the Cornish Pasty Amateur category and came third in the Open Savoury Amateur category despite only learning to crimp two weeks ago.
The mum-of-three, who is a teaching assistant at St Cleer Primary School, said: “I’ve been testing out my pasties on my three sons for years but didn’t know how to crimp properly so I had to ask my next-door neighbour to teach me a few weeks ago.
“This is the first time I’ve entered the World Pasty Championships and I’m absolutely overwhelmed and shocked to win. I thought my boys were playing a joke on me!”
Proper Cornish won the coveted title of Cornish Pasty Champions for this year, pipping last year’s winners Cornish Premier Pasties at the post.
Eden Project spokesman David Rowe said: “There was a great spirit today at our seventh World Pasty Championships. The pasty bakers made heroic efforts to be here despite everything the weather could throw at them this week.
As well as the pasty competition, the Championships always includes a fabulous day’s entertainment in the stage area. Britpop legends Dodgy, Cornwall-based 3 Daft Monkeys and legendary Redruth rappers Hedluv + Passman headed the music bill this year.
The full list of winners is:
Open Savoury Junior
First – Jodie Heath, 12, from Bodmin with a Cornish smoked seafood pasty
Second – Imogen Hawkins, nine, from Wadebridge with a chicken pasty
Third – Naomi Hawkins, 7, from Wadebridge with a gammon pasty
Cornish Pasty Junior
First – Summer Lovejoy, nine, from Plymouth
Second – Jodie Heath, 12, from Bodmin
Third – Rhys Heath, 15, from Bodmin
Open Savoury Company
First –The Pure Pasty Co. with a BBQ chicken pasty
Second – Warrens Bakery with a vegan yellow Thai pasty
Third – The Cornish Bakery with a Cornish smoked haddock pasty
Cornish Pasty Company
First – Proper Cornish Ltd.
Second – Cornish Premier Pasties
Third – The Cornish Bakery
Open Savoury Professional
First -Luisa Ead from Padstow with a winner winner chicken dinner pasty
Yvonne Hollyoak from Bodmin with a broccoli and cauliflower cheese pasty
Abbi Flower from Bristol with a Moroccan Chickpea Pasty
Cornish Pasty Professional
First – Danny O’Flynn from Trevone
Second – Chris Bartolini from Millbrook
Third – Yvonne Hollyoak from Bodmin
Open Savoury Amateur
First – Glyn Meredith from Porthleven with a skirt, cheese, peppers, paprika, garlic and coriander pasty.
Second – Jon Lovejoy from Plymouth with a lasagne pasty
Third – Gillian Francis from St Cleer with a pork, smoked streaky bacon, paprika and red chilli pasty
Cornish Pasty Amateur
First – Gillian Francis from St Cleer
Second – Jules Curnow from Helston
Third – Emma Pugsley from London