California-based bakery Sunblest Foods has become the first international competitor in the World Championship Scotch Pie Awards.

Sunblest Foods owner Kevin Haggard said it was a dream come true to have the opportunity to see how his Scotch Pies and Football Pies measure up.

“I saw an opportunity some years ago to develop the market for superior meat pies and so I contacted the Pacific Northwest Scottish Society, and provided pies for a Burns Night dinner," he added.

“This is how I was introduced to the Scottish community in Seattle and this allowed me to begin selling pies at the Highland Games. But to be here, in Scotland, meeting generations-old bakery businesses, I just hope my pies make the grade.”

The competition, which is in its 18th year, will begin judging today (9 November) at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline.

Head judge Ian Nelson and his team of bakery experts will put the pies through their paces, with accolades on offer in 11 categories: 

  • Scotch Pie
  • Football Pie
  • Macaroni Pie
  • Steak Pie
  • Sausage Roll
  • Cold Savoury
  • Hot Savoury
  • Vegetarian Savoury
  • Haggis Savoury
  • Bridie
  • Apple Pie

The winner will be announced on 11 January 2017 at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld.