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The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014: Best Pies Ever


The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, hosted by Singapore was a cracking competition between two nations

World Pie Cooking Contest: I got a few SMS pouring in from my mate, Steve, late one Saturday night – “Ring me, I need you to be the judge in a cooking competition tomorrow.” And so started The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore. I pinged a message back to him, initially sort of declining as a friend was over from the UK. Something along the lines of;

“When, where and who is cooking?” I thought it perfectly within my rights to ask such obvious questions…

“Barrie and I are having a pie cooking contest tomorrow. You are the judge. Be at Lagoon Hawker at 3 pm.” says Steve

“Er, right, OK.” “How did that happen?” said I, to myself.

The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore
I, the judge, sat between the two contenders. Funny I just realised; “In the blue corner…”

I rang a little later that night and was given some detailed background associated with the origination of the bet. It seems that three people were in fact involved. My mates Steve Rutherford and Barrie Steele, and some other bloke called Jack Daniel. Mary the kids and I were going to be going to Lagoon Hawker anyway, so I finally agreed to step in and judge The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore.

Mary, the kids and I arrived at midday to have lunch, and to allow the judge (yes me) to have a few cold refreshing beverages to cleanse my palate ahead of the taste challenge. The pressure was mounting. The time was ticking by. 3 pm neared and 3 pm passed, then 330pm arrived, and so did the first contender (finally).

In the red corner, weighing in with a rather interesting Little Red Riding Hood basket was Steve Rutherford. Representing the United Kingdom and Portsmouth. Upon opening said basket, the gems within were revealed, as it contained 5 pies. Without an initial taste test, I asked basic questions like;

“Is it homemade pastry?”

“No, it is Cold Storage.”

Ooh!!! Mental note, mental note… that’s a black mark from the judge of The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore.

The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore
I liked the look of these as they do look homemade. Egg wash atop to give colour. The smell was really good, and they were still warm from the oven. Maybe this would be points to dock from Bazzer, as his were cold when he arrived so late. Good effort, I thought, at first glance.

At 430pm (should Bazza have been disqualified?) the second contender arrived. In the blue corner weighing in at substantially more than Steve, but minus the wee Little Red Riding Hood basket was Barrie Steele. Bazzer had only two silver foil parcels, that were warm to the touch and shaped like little bricks. Intriguing I thought.

We discussed his disqualification and docking of points due to tardiness. But;

  • Due to the fact that his pies were still warm,
  • In the spirit of friendly banter and competition,
  • The fact I think that they were both still drunk from the night before,
  • The fact that I think Steve had a slightly confident air about him.

I let it pass. When I unwrapped one of the little silver ingots from Bazzer, I had to take a step back. I was immediately so impressed with his work. The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore might be quite a simple decision. Oh dear, sorry, Steve.

The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore.
A beautiful-looking thing. Hole in the top to stop spillage and to let the steam out. Egg wash again to colour. Then I noticed the cracks in the side of the pie – “This is homemade short-crust pastry isn’t it Bazzer?” “Yes, it is!” DING DONG!!!

The interesting thing was that because Barrie was so late, I had already had a taste test of Steve’s pie whilst still hot. It was a cheeky little number, it had to be said. He went for quite a complex pie, containing many flavours. He did pull it off, and it was rather nice. We all commented that it was a tad too thick on the pastry. The ingredients were some Shabu Shabu, finely chopped yellow pepper, some chopped onion, Guinness, finely chopped chilli padi, Enoki mushrooms and salt and pepper. Topped off with the Cold Storage pastry. Really nice. I really did like it a lot. He had cooked it well, and it really did taste really good. The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014 Hosted by Singaporethere is your entry No.1.

The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singaporeentry No.2 now. Mr Steele. Bazzer had gone for a more traditional Australian ‘footie pie’. He even brought some tomato sauce, which brought back floods of memories of my attendance at AFL games when I lived in Melbourne. A pint and a pie were pretty much mandatory on these sporting occasions.

Bazzer’s pie was simple, but complex and contained minced beef, beef stock, chopped onion, a little tomato puree, some corn starch to thicken, some salt and pepper, and of course that homemade short-crust pastry. We had no knives, and so to eat Barrie’s we had to cut it with a chopstick. When you opened this little Pandora’s Box of Pie you were greeted with the picture below.

On the very first taste, I am sorry to say Steve but the winner could have been announced there and then. Hands down this was one hell of a pie. Simple and simply delicious. No two ways about it, it was sublime. Add some tomato sauce to it and BOOM it goes off in another direction, but absolutely in the right direction.

Even Mr Rutherford lay down on his own sword after eating some. He knew he was beaten. This was just too good. The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore winner was decided. In first place and having the honour of being the first winner of the competition was Mr Barrie Steele, representing Sydney, Australia. Well done Bazzer, that was indeed a ‘ripper’ mate. Evidence is below as to why – a thing of beauty.

The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore.
You opened up this little golden ingot of beautiful pastry and then got hit with this glistening interior – you just knew this was going to be so so good – how could it not look like this!!!

To the contenders, I offer congratulations and commiseration. Both were truly excellent pies. But there had to be a winner, and in the end, the winner was a clear one – as we all agreed. Bazzer’s simple Ozzie Footie Pie, won the day. It was a BELTER. Great choice, great delivery – well done Sir.

A word or two now from the contenders. Brave men fighting for the right to win, fighting for their countries, fighting for their honour, for the honour of their pie, for the honour of themselves – Steve and Bazzer – The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore.

The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore.
“Barrie I have to say mate the best man, or rather the best pie won. I openly admit defeat. Mine was just not good enough to challenge the outstanding flavour, and presentation you submitted for the competition today. I was seriously impressed. The flavour was so complex, for such a simple pie. Believe me, when I say simple I do not mean that in a bad way. The pastry was light, delicate, and cooked to perfection, with a light crust, but still nice and gooey in the centre where the gravy had interacted and brought together a relationship of harmony. A gravy to die for to be honest my friend. I hold my hands up. The superior Chef won. It was an excellent competition. I had great fun taking part. You are a true friend and I was honoured to do battle with you. Congratulations to you, to Sydney, to Australia and to your Pie”, says Steve…
The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore.
“Call that a f*cking pie, you Pommie Tw@t?” says Barrie

Enough said. Well done gents. Great fun, and thanks to you both for the invite. I truly loved being part of The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore. I hope you enjoyed this blog of your exploits!!! I sure did like writing it. And to all the readers of this – ENJOY!!!

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