British Pie Awards are a tremendous achievement

I feel I must write to congratulate Stephen Hallam, Ian Hartland and their fellow members of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association on the excellent organisation of the recent British Pie Awards, which took place on 19 May in the most beautiful and impressive St Mary’s Church in Melton Mowbray.

The British Pie Awards were launched last year and, after only one year, there was a 40% increase in the 13 categories of pies. With 725 entries this was indeed a tremendous achievement.

What is more amazing is the star quality of judges the British Pie Awards attract. I have never seen as many TV camera crews and press at such an event, and they even have a press call before the event. With stars such as BBC Countryfile’s Julia Bradbury and six TV chefs, including Phil Vickery, Tony Tobin and Rosemary Shrager, the judges’ list read like a Who’s Who of food critics and radio and TV presenters.

The baking industry was also well-supported, with Robert Ross as chairman of judges ably assisted by Hugh Weeks and other fellow judges Alan Stuart, Thomas Adams and Tony Spencer.

Yes, it was indeed a great privilege to be present at the British Pie Awards. Both Stephen Hallam and Ian Hartland are, without doubt, tremendous ambassadors for our industry. They make you feel proud to be a baker.

Jean Grieves

Bakers beware when comparing energy bill prices

The latest copy of British Baker has a very good editorial on sustainability, but I think the baker needs to be very careful about the different prices of fuel and the effect on the energy bill. The article suggests the price for a KW of wood pellet energy is 66% lower than natural gas, when the latest data has it at around the same price.

The other important issue with indirect combustion is the heat losses via the flue, which account for a high percentage of the fuel burnt. Compare this to electrically heated equipment, where the energy consumed is used totally by the appliance of course all the different appliances lose heat via the door area and through the outside surfaces of the oven and this is where the issue of insulation is a critical factor.

Also, we are currently supplying an energy-efficient oven to one of our customers which has qualified for a nearly 100% carbon trust loan.

Tony Fuller

Diamond T Ltd