A BAKER from Kent has won at the Eden Project’s World Pasty Championships, after being forced to miss last year’s competition due to the ‘Beast from the East’ snowstorm.

Jill Martin, whose pasties are dubbed “Kentish knockers”, claimed first and third prizes in the Open Savoury Professional category at the prestigious event on Saturday. Jill’s winning pasty contained egg, sausage and bacon.

She said: “Cornwall has a famous pasty and I thought ‘why hasn’t Kent got one’ so I decided to create one. I’m still in shock from winning. I’m delighted and I will come back next year even more determined.”

Billy Deakin from Redruth, who won the Cornish pasty amateur prize in the first two years of the competition, was again victorious in that category on his return after four years away from the contest today.

His four-year-old son Carter, who wasn’t even born when Billy was last crowned champion, also competed in the junior category.

Billy said: “Carter wanted to go to the championships because he’s getting into his cooking and I thought if I’m bringing him I’ll have a go as well. I’ve had two wins and a third place so it’s nice to get the trophy back. Carter loved it but he needs a bit of crimping practice.”

The Pure Pasty Co., based in Virginia, USA who won with a controversial barbeque chicken pasty laced with pineapple in last year’s competition, were once again victorious in the Open Savoury Company category with a turkey and cranberry pasty.

Mike Burgess, who runs the company, said: “It feels amazing to win again, I can’t believe it. The turkey and cranberry pasty is basically an American fusion pasty that contains all the flavours of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It’s been so popular in our shop that we’ve had to introduce it all year round.”

Also in the winners’ enclosure was Don McKeever from Bristol, the most decorated pasty-maker in World Pasty Championships history, with three wins and one second place to his name going into this year’s competition. Don was victorious in the open savour amateur category with a butter chicken, butternut squash and mushroom pasty.

The championships are the hotly-contested finale of Cornish Pasty Week and for the first time hosted a new competition to find the World’s Fastest Crimper, a title claimed by Ingrida Sauguniene of Rowe’s.

The Pasty Ambassador award, given to a person who has furthered the cause of the Cornish pasty, was given to Jason Jobling, the chair of the Cornish Pasty Association.

Nearly 200 pasties made by amateurs, professionals, juniors and companies competed in the gala contest held at the home of the famous Biomes near St Austell in Cornwall. Bakers travelled from Cornwall, Canada, the USA, Wales and Ireland for the competition.

The entries were closely scrutinised by a panel of 40 judges.

Among the sponsors of the various classes are Carters Packaging, Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, Craft Bakers Association, Heygates, St Austell Brewery, and Cornwall Heritage Trust.

Alongside the pasty competition, Eden presented a fabulous day of entertainment on a stage in the Mediterranean Biome, headlined by celebrated shanty singers and soon-to-be film legends Fisherman’s Friends.

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