By David Mizon of Pin Point Training & Consultancy

A team of bakers from the UK recently returned from the Sigep Artisan Exhibition in Rimini, Italy, where we took part in the world renowned Sigep Bread Cup the first time a team from the UK has entered. The team was made up of captain Steven Salt from Tameside College, myself, Garry Hindley of Liverpool College, and student Debbie-Jo Fox, also of Tameside College. The exhibition itself was so large that any visitors would really need to allow a minimum of two days to see everything.

We were there to focus on The Sigep Bread Cup a very relaxed competition, where all the teams help each other and exchange ideas with a view to expanding world knowledge of artisan bread and pastry. We competed for four days, with around 18 hours of baking and display time. In doing so, we had a very enjoyable few days and met a few new friends. There were five products to bake, with two teams sharing a pod and the equipment. The pods all had slightly different equipment, which encouraged everyone to share. We were housed with the German team, who were fantastic, if more fortunate...

The UK team flew out with just a 15kg baggage allowance each, with only the smallest amount of equipment and a few ingredients unavailable on-site. The German team drove down in a big van, and therefore had and happily shared all those important little items we didn’t have. It was a great shame that no suppliers from the UK attended the event; they definitely missed out on a major opportunity not least to support the UK team!

Given the UK’s absence from past international competitions and the high esteem in which they’re regarded in other countries, it will take a while before we’re up to speed on what the judges want. Let’s just say we didn’t win! But the experience we gained was invaluable.