The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, hosted by Singapore
I got a few SMS pouring in from my mate, Steve, late one Saturday night – “Ring me dickhead, 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 UK. Something along the lines of;
“When, where and who is cooking?” I thought 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 3pm.” says Steve
“Er, right, OK.” “How did that happen?” said I, to my self.
I rang a little later that night and was given some detailed background associated to 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 and 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. 3pm neared and 3pm passed, then 330pm arrived, and so did the first contender (finally).
In the red corner, weighing in with a rather gay Little Red Riding Hood basket, was Steve Rutherford. Representing the United Kingdom and Portsmouth. Upon opening said gay basket, the gems within were revealed, as it contained 5 pies. Without an initial taste test I asked basic questions like;
“Is it home-made pastry?”
“No it is Cold Storage.”
Oooohhh!!! Mental note, mental note… that’s a black mark from the judge of The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore.
At 430pm (should Bazza have been disqualified?) the second contender’s arrived. In the blue corner weighing in at substantially more than Steve, but minus the wee gay 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 pissed from the night before,
- The fact that I think Steve had a slightly confident air about him.
I let it pass. When I un-wrapped 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 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 is was a tad too thick on the pastry. The ingredients were some Shabu Shabu, finely chopped yellow pepper, some chopped onion, Guinness, finely chopped chili 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 Singapore – there is your entry No.1.
The World Pie Cooking Contest 2014, Hosted by Singapore – entry 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 at 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 home-made short-crust pastry. We had no knives, and so to eat Barrie’s we had to cut it with a chop stick. When you opened this little Pandora 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.
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.