Wigan chefs win big at this years Pie Awards

Wigan’s reputation as the UK’s pie capital has been enhanced as an upper-crust new bakery won big on the national stage.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 10:42 am
Updated Monday, 27th September 2021, 10:18 am

Baldys Pies has only been in business for a few months but is already celebrating two gongs at the British Pie Awards.

And it was Baldys Kiev, a firm favourite, which particularly impressed the judges.

The pie which has garlic-marinated chicken, herb bechamel, garlic, thyme and a panko herb crumb, was entered into the chicken and vegetable/herb category which impressed the judges so much they championed Baldys over 34 other tantalising contenders.

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Alex and Chris at their Baldys Pie shop.

The company also received the gold award for their Mexican pie which contains chilli steak mince and brisket, scotch bonnets, coriander, smoked paprika and chill panko crumb.

Co-owner Alex Melling from Standish said: “Chris (Vernazza) and I are chefs not pie-makers. That’s why our pies are so unique. We were both ecstatic when we found out, it was amazing to win the two awards.

“Our hard work has put us in a position were we are nationally recognised, I think we are the only multi-award winning pie company in Wigan which is great for us. This now puts us on the map and we can continue to grow and expand our business into different areas.”

Baldys launched on Clayton Street earlier this year and when Chris and Alex started the business they had £300 each to get it up and running. Alex said: “After the year the hospitality industry has had we didn’t have a lot of money, we were working very few hours on a limited wage.

The Mexican pie which won a gold award. Picture by Rob Heyes

“So we started it with nothing, doing two weeks at the Billinge Arms then moving to the Crown in Standish before setting up our shop.”

The Annual Pie Ceremony received almost 1,000 entries from across the country for submission.

The contest included 23 mouth-watering categories, which ranged from classics including beef and ale or steak and kidney, but also opened the contest up to those who cater to more niche dietary preferences, like free-from and vegan.

Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association and host of the British Pie Awards, said: “It is safe to say that, after being cancelled due to Covid, the British Pie Awards are back and better than ever! We’ve eaten some spectacular pies this year, and Baldys Kiev has beaten some very tough competition. These awards celebrate the skill of British pie-connoisseurs across the nation, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to each and every person and pie lover involved!”.

Baldys Kiev which won the Chicken & Vegetable/Herb category. Picture by Rob Heyes

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