2018’s Best Young Bread Baker announced

Media Release - 28th November 2018

An Auckland craft baker has won the 2018 Young Bread Baker of the Year Competition today, after two days of tough theoretical and practical testing.

Luke Frew, a baker at Miann Morningside, a patisserie and dessert restaurant, receives a $10 000 research grant, which he plans to use to travel to overseas baking conferences and get further training.

Luke, who entered the Young Bread Baker of the Year Competition with some encouragement from friends, says, “I’m not usually comfortable putting myself out there, but I knew it would be an excellent way to push my boundaries and see what I’m capable of.  I was glad I had entered even before I won, but now I’ve really got an opportunity to see how much further I can go.”

The competition requires entrants to demonstrate their ability in three areas: a five-hour practical baking exercise in which they bake a variety of bread based products, a 90-minute exam which tests their theoretical knowledge of baking technology, and a presentation on a given research topic.

Judge Everard Wijdeveld says Luke put a concerted effort into the competition beforehand by doing research and reading technical books online. “It paid off because his written exam was very good, but it was in the practical that he really excelled. He came up with innovative ideas, for example a baked bun with a custard and apple filling which looked and tasted like a deep fried doughnut.”

Judging Co-ordinator Tania Watson of the New Zealand Association of Bakers says the aim of the competition is to find bakers with potential whose talents can be nurtured through mentoring and development opportunities, and to reward the best newly qualified young bread baker in the country.

“It’s always good to have both plant and craft bakeries represented. Craft and plant bakers bring different strengths and challenges to the competition. The competition is a confidence builder and shows them just what they can do under pressure.”

Jacob Saunders from Rolleston Bakery was runner up in the competition and receives a $5000 scholarship. Trae Wawatai from Quality Bakers in Auckland has been invited to carry out further training and represent New Zealand in the 2019 LA Judge Award.

Judge Grant Inns of Mauri ANZ says the diversity of entrants in the competition will ensure the group have a network of peers that they can draw on throughout their careers. “Over the past two days, the judges have had the privilege of watching five very motivated and talented young bakers go through the challenges of the competition and present themselves at a very high standard.

“Previous winners and finalists have gone on to take up leadership roles and I’m sure this year’s entrants will continue the tradition. We are very fortunate in the baking industry to have young people who are prepared to work hard and put themselves under pressure and outside their comfort zone to compete.”

The Young Bread Baker of the Year is sponsored by the New Zealand Association of Bakers and is designed to promote excellence in people emerging from their training.

About Luke Frew

Luke Frew is a 27-year-old apprentice baker at Miann, a patisserie and dessert restaurant in Morningside, Auckland. Luke is a few weeks away from qualifying as a Craft Baker and has six years’ experience in the industry.

After two years studying towards an Engineering degree, Luke realised it wasn’t what he wanted to be and returned to his home town of Pukekohe. Needing a job, he started working in a family owned bakery, never thinking he would find a career he now loves. He says it took a while for him to realise how much he enjoyed baking because he was working a night shift, but he just knew he wanted to carry on, and after a year began his apprenticeship.

After three years in the family bakery, Luke heard about a position in a bread bakery in Auckland which would give him the knowledge and experience of bread baking he was looking. He contacted the Head Baker through Instagram and after a trial period, worked at Amano for 18 months.

Moving to Miann was another step up for Luke, as he now makes pastry products and high end plated desserts. He says bread is still his favourite but learning to make high level, quality products in a restaurant environment is really valuable and suits him as he enjoys working on his own and sees this a strength he can use in his career.

Luke entered the Young Bread Baker of the Year Competition after some encouragement from friends. He says he isn’t comfortable putting himself “out there” but knows it’s an excellent way to push his boundaries and see what he is capable of.

When Luke isn’t baking he enjoys being at the beach, gardening and cooking. He gets his inspiration from his boss at Miann, recipe books, following creative bakers on Instagram, and using seasonal produce.

ENDS ///

Follow us on Facebook: Young Bread Baker of the Year

For more information, please contact Tania Watson – Judging Coordinator
New Zealand Association of Bakers
E: tania@bakingresearch.org.nz
M: 021 1659949