Once a year, all of the bakers from the Foodstuffs NI stores have the opportunity to enter the Baker of the Year competition.

During October & November they are required to enter regional heats, sending in Ciabatta, mud cakes & a baguette and these are judged by guest judges. This year, due to Covid, there were only 98 participants but in previous years there have been up to 200.

The top 20 entrants are then invited to Auckland for two days to take part in a for a theory test on day one and then a live bake off on day two where they have to make & finish 6 products, one of which is a mystery item and they only get to see and taste it on the day and then they have to replicate it using their own knowledge.

The best of the best

I have been a judge of Foodstuffs Baker of the Year since 2014.

I have had the pleasure of being involved in this competition for the past 6 years, and I hope to continue for many years to come, as it is important to recognise the talent, hard work and dedication of the industry that isn’t always celebrated.

All of the competitors did extremely well in this high stress environment but we won’t know the winner until the Excellence Awards ceremony in March 2021. So watch this space!

Michael Johnson
BHL Managing Director