Cornwall

World Pasty Championships: US bakery scoops top award

Jennifer Swanston and Mike Burgess Image copyright Emily Whitfield-Wicks/Eden Project
Image caption Mike Burgess, who set up Pure Pasty Co in 2010 in Vienna, Virginia, attended the championships with his bakery manager, New York-born Jennifer Swanston

A bakery based in the US state of Virginia has won one of the top prizes at the World Pasty Championships.

Pure Pasty founder Mike Burgess took home the Open Savoury Company prize with a barbecue chicken creation made with sweet potato, courgette, red pepper, sweetcorn and pineapple.

"We are ecstatic with the win," said Mr Burgess. "The winning pasty is a real team effort - an American fusion."

The seventh championships were held at Cornwall's Eden Project.

More than 200 pasties were entered into the competition, which was the finale of the first ever Cornish Pasty week.

Mr Burgess's bakery, which is based in the town of Vienna, won top prize in the prestigious Open Savoury Company category.

How to make a classic Cornish pasty

Among the other winners was mum-of-three Gillian Francis, from St Cleer, near Liskeard in Cornwall.

She scooped the top prize in the Cornish Pasty Amateur category and came third in the Open Savoury Amateur category, despite only learning to crimp a couple of weeks ago.

Image copyright Emily Whitfield-Wicks/Eden Project
Image caption Teaching assistant Gillian Francis received her award from Ainsley Cocks of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

She 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."

Image copyright Emily Whitfield-Wicks/Eden Project
Image caption The youngest winner this year was nine-year-old Summer Lovejoy

Nine-year-old Summer Lovejoy, from Plymouth, came top in the Cornish Pasty Junior category, while Jodie Heath, from Bodmin, was chosen as the Open Savoury Junior with her smoked seafood creation.

Other winners included Luisa Ead, from Padstow, who took home the title of Open Savoury Professional with her chicken dinner pasty, and Glyn Meredith, from Porthleven, who was crowned Open Savoury Amateur for his skirt, cheese, peppers, paprika, garlic and coriander pasty.

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."

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