The Richemont Club has a membership spread right across the country, representing some of the most innovative and creative bakery businesses and individuals in Europe.
The annual competition has rapidly become one of the most prestigious and fiercely-contested in the UK and its past winners represent the crème de la crème of British talent.
The competition is open to Club members and staff within member businesses. To stimulate interest, staff members within one business are also allowed to compete against each other. But to help keep the classes open, only the highest-placed from any one business can count towards the class total.
This year, in another exciting development, the prestigious celebration cake category will undergo a few key changes to keep the excellent competitors on their collective toes and cake stands (see panel).
Last year, Chester-based P&A Davies was named best craft bakery chain, scooping the Richemont Club 2007 Trophy at the Club's annual competition, with the six-shop chain beating off stiff competition from Manchester-based Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier in second place, and Chatwins of Nantwich in third place.
The Best in Show prize went to a multiseed loaf baked by Martin Ormisher of Preston-based Glovers Bakery.
This year the judges are hoping for, and confident of getting, an equally exceptional standard of entries.
=== List of provisional classes ===
== Section One - Milling & Baking Trophy ==
Class 1 Three Sausage Rolls (puff pastry)
Class 2 Three Meat Pasties (one variety)
Class 3 One Vegetarian Product
Class 4 One Quiche Lorraine (max 150mm diameter)
== Section Two - Rank Hovis Trophy ==
Class 5 One Brown Tin Loaf (400g)
Class 6 One Multigrain Cob (400g)
Class 7 One White Plaited Loaf (400g)
== Section Three - BakeMark Trophy ==
Class 8 Four Fresh Creams (2 varieties)
Class 9 Four Danish Pastries (2 varieties)
Class 10 Four Christmas Fancies (2 varieties)
Class 11 Four Puff Pastries Unfilled (2 varieties)
== Section Four - Renshaw Trophy ==
Class 12 One Novelty Celebration Cake (max 30cm board)
Class 13 One Marzipan/Sugar Paste Model (max 250g)
Class 14 One Character Biscuit (gingerbread or shortbread)
Class 15 Almond Goods (three items, one variety)
== Section Five - British Sugar Trophy ==
Class 16 One decorated Christmas Cake (max 30cm board)
Class 17 One Christmas Pudding (max 800g)
Class 18 One Chocolate Log (max 18cm long)
== Section Six - British Baker Trophy ==
Open to all Young Bakers 21 and under
Class 19 Four Fruit scones (max 65g each)
Class 20 One Oven Bottom Loaf (400g)
Class 21 One Round Pizza (max 150mm dia)
== Section Seven - Invitation Only - Live Demonstration ==
One Celebration Cake: six groups of two people will each go head to head, competing against each other. In a spin on last year, all entrants will have to use the same ingredients, truly testing their creative skills.
Richemont Club competition Timings
* Show times 09:00-16:00
* All entries displayed by: 10:30 Judging: 11:00 & 13:00
* Live demonstration/competition: 11:00-14:00
* Prize-giving ceremony: 14:30