Schools Great British Pie Bake-Off

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Stoke school pupils Ben Pratt and Connor Whalley were pipped at the post in a baking challenge with a sporting theme.

Ben, 13, and Connor, 14, who attend Sir Thomas Boughey High School were equal third in the Schools Great British Pie Bake-Off run by Reaseheath College, a specialist college in Nantwich.

The boys’ Greek filo pastries filled with spinach, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese, made as a tribute to the high ranking Greek football team, so impressed judges that they placed it in the top three of 80 competition entries from secondary schools throughout Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Manchester and the Wirral.

Just ten entries made it through to the finals in Reaseheath’s specialist Food Centre last week. All the school pupils stunned the judging panel with the standard and originality of their products.

Connor, who like Ben took home a cash prize, said: “Reaseheath’s bakery facilities are really impressive and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It really made me think about food technology as a career.”

The competition was won by Harry Brown, 14, from Fallibroome Academy, Macclesfield, with his ‘Two Flavour Bike Pie’ inspired by the Tour de France. Second was Maddie Stevens, 15, a pupil at West Kirby Grammar School, Wirral, whose ‘Going for Gold’ savoury pie celebrated the commonwealth games and the countries involved.

Equal third was Megan Justice from Great Sankey High School, Warrington, who chose the World Cup 2014 winner, Germany, as inspiration for her Black Forest Winner Pie. Other finalists included Alex Camp, 13, from Eaton Bank Academy, Congleton, with her pie ‘ Le Tour de Clanger’.

The judging panel of Keith Fisher, Butchery Development Manager for BPEX (the British Pig Executive), Cheshire WI judge Mary Hignett and David Thomson, Sales Executive for Bako, a baking products and ingredients supplier, were looking for originality, presentation and taste.

Keith Fisher said: “I was very impressed with the organisation and professionalism of the young people. There was so much passion and enthusiasm, it was a privilege to judge the competition. Reaseheath’s food department should be congratulated on running such an inspired and exciting competition.”

Reaseheath’s Food Department has run the bake-off challenge for two years and it has proved so popular that there are already plans to repeat it next year. For further details of Reaseheath’s food courses see www.reaseheath.ac.uk/food-technology.