Almost 1,000 entries were submitted for competition classes at the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees’ (ABST) Annual Conference, held at the Alton Towers Hotel from 11-13 June, up from over 700 last year.

The Hovis and Granary competition attracted the highest number of entries, with over 400 loaves entered in total, and the new Celebration Cupcake Challenge Trophy class drew a large number of entries, taking judges over two hours to decide on a winner.

"As chairman of the judges, I’m delighted to say it’s very heart-warming to see we have some great talent coming through from the colleges and elsewhere, which puts the baking trade in a favourable position for the future," said Geary’s Bakeries chairman Charles Geary.

The conference also played host to the qualifying and selection rounds for the 2011 UK SIGEP Bread Cup Team, with honoured guest Club Arti e Mestieri president Fausto Rivola in attendance as a judge.

ABST general secretary and Sheffield College lecturer David Mizon was crowned winner of the Artistic Bread Centrepiece and Cake classes, Steven Salt won the Innovation class, and Ian Jones was awarded first place in the Artisan Bread category.

l See 2 July issue for a full report on the conference