In an extremely close contest, Dungog baker Tristan Beisler has claimed the LA Judge Award for Baking Apprentice of the Year.
Tristan, from Barrington Bakery in Dungog, fended off some very strong competition – especially from Queensland’s Lydia Horne and New Zealand’s Trae Wawatai – to emerge victorious.
Less than 1.5 points out of a total of 100 separated the trio at the end of the three-day competition.
Tristan was officially crowned the winner at a gala ceremony in Sydney, presented by AEGIC and Woolworths.
As part of his prize, Tristan will receive a five-day all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium to visit the headquarters of eminent baking and ingredients company Puratos.
Tristan will have the opportunity to take part in bakery demonstrations, tour Puratos’ famed sourdough library and visit its various museums and facilities.
As runner-up, Lydia wins a two-day workshop in the Puratos Hong Kong baking centre.
Tristan said he had worked in his family business from a young age.
“I’ve been helping out my dad at the bakery for as long as I can remember,” he said.
“Watching people eat my baking always puts a smile on my face.”
LA Judge Award Director Dr Ken Quail said the six candidates from around Australia and New Zealand were all very promising young bakers.
“Competing in the LA Judge Award is a triumph just by itself. All six of this year’s bakers should be very proud of themselves. The future of the industry is in good hands,” he said.
“This year was an especially hard-fought and close competition with very little separating the top three candidates.
“Congratulations to everyone, especially Tristan. Tristan worked extremely hard and the results are clearly a reflection of the time and effort he put both into the preparation and at the competition.”
This article was first published in Leading Agriculture.