The American Pie Council (APC) announced the commercial bakery winners from the 15th annual APC/Crisco National Pie Championships, held April 24-26 in Orlando, Fla., in conjunction with the APC Great American Pie Festival, sponsored by Crisco.
This year, 465 commercial pies were submitted in more than 130 categories based on flavor, wholesale cost and size. Independent bakers with $1 million or less in annual pie sales were placed in their own category within the commercial bakers' competition. Categories included apple, blueberry, fruit/berry, open cream, citrus, open, nut, chocolate and raisin, sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board. Winners also have the opportunity to increase market share by publicizing their achievement.
Top winners included Bakers Square Restaurants with 34 awards, Bonner's Slice of Pie with 15 awards, Jessie Lord Bakery LLC with 11 awards and Cyrus O'Leary's Pies and J. Horner's with 10 awards each. Other winners included Michele's Pies, Hill and Valley Inc., The Schwan Food Co. and Rocky Mountain Pies.
“The Pie Championship and Festival is a wonderful celebration of a critically important segment of the baking industry — pies. From the larger commercial pie bakers to the amateur contestants, it was a lot of fun to be part of the pie family and experience their passion,” said Robb MacKie, president and C.E.O., American Bakers Association. “It also needs to be recognized that these important industry events don't just happen, they require countless hours of tireless leadership from Linda and Rich Hoskins as well as the support of numerous volunteers. I was honored to be invited to participate.”
Other participants included Kim Montello, Johnson and Wales University; Jim Whaples, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association; and professional chefs, such as David Ramirez, executive pastry chef, Orlando Rosen Shingle Creek and 2009 captain of Team USA in the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie (World Pastry Cup). Judges also included food writers and editors, and everyday pie lovers who were selected through an application process.