Visitors were treated to a number of bakery-related demonstrations, including a student contest and a talk by Channel 4’s Fabulous Baker Brothers Tom and Henry Herbert, of Hobbs House Bakery.
During their demonstration, the Herberts stressed how much they loved their respective trades of bakery and butchery. They also said they enjoyed being craftsmen and using their hands.
Henry Herbert told visitors: “I think the message is to understand what you’re trying to do, and let the machinery complement it, not take anything away from it. Understand what your hands do, and stick to them.”
Bakers also saw a talk by Steve Spice, head of regulatory affairs at Campden BRI, on the new EU food labelling laws, who warned of the enormity of the challenge the new legislation posed for the food industry.
Elsewhere, bakery students from Sheffield College won the British Society of Baking’s (BSB) first College Bread Competition.
The winning team received a framed certificate, signed and presented by The Fabulous Baker Brothers.
Phoebe Bruce, student, said: “It’s quite a big shock really, because we didn’t expect to win. But, it is really nice winning.”
Steven Salt, head of baking at Sheffield College, said: “The concept of the competition was an Easter display. There are quite a few innovative products in there: doughnuts with rabbits on, sourdoughs, brightly coloured enriched dough’s with different flavours, a roll with black pudding, mustard seed and apple, and Italian breads, so there’s quite a lot of things and we’ve covered the whole globe. It’s fantastic [to win]. It’s fantastic for the students.”
Sara Autton, chairman, said the competition aimed to create greater exposure for students and colleges, and encouraged more colleges to get involved.
Autton said: “It’s the first time we’ve done it and we’d like to do it again. We’d like to see more colleges enter next time.”
Last night exhibitors also enjoyed a comedy night at the NEC.