Previous winners

2011 New Zealand's Young Bread Baker of the Year

The 2011 winner was Kyle Tainsh from Goodman Fielder’s Ernest Adams Bakery, Palmerston North.

 Kyle Tainsh first started working in the baking industry while still at school by taking a job at Breadcraft in the Wairarapa. He started in the bull ring, and packing bread, then progressed through the plant to work on the flat bread lines. Kyle's interest in baking grew into a passion while he was at Breadcraft, enjoying the pressure of the plant environment, while still producing a top quality product.

Kyle began his  apprenticeship under the guidance of Thomas Thomas, who is the owner of The Windmill Quality Cake Shop, in Paraparaumu. Here he learnt a huge amount about the craft baking side of the industry. He was taught how to make Bread, Cakes ( including wedding cakes and gateaux) Croissants and Danish pastries, Sweet buns, Doughnuts and chocolate work (runouts and Easter eggs). Everything was done from scratch and prepared fresh each day. This was when Kyle decided  that Baking was definitely his passion and so he started to plan his career.  Kyle moved to Quality Bakers in Palmerston North, going back into the Plant Bakery, before moving to Ernest Adams. Kyle completed his apprenticeship at Ernest Adams, working on a range of lines including large pasty and cake as well as cookie and slice lines.

Kyle still works for Goodman Fielder, but these days his job title is Product Development Technician. In this role Kyle learns a huge amount about the technical side of baking, while developing new products for customers in an ever changing market.

As winner of the YBBOY award Kyle received a $10,000 research grant. Kyle is deciding between courses at American Institute of Baking, in Kansas and also the option of attending an expo such as IBA, and maybe spending time at some large baking operations in the U.K such as Warburtons.

Kyle  would like to thank everyone that helped him leading up to this competition, especially the Goodman Fielder Baking R&D team, Joe Jarkiewicz, and Ralph Thorogood.


2010  New Zealand's Young Bread Baker of the Year

Judging for the top young bread baker in New Zealand took place in Auckland recently with Adam McLean, of Quality Bakers Auckland, winning the award of 2010 "Young Bread Baker of the Year".

In winning this award, Adam demonstrated to the judges an ability to excel in three key areas: practical baking, theoretical knowledge of baking technology, and presentation of research into key process and law changes that have occurred in the NZ baking industry over the last 50 years and their significance to the industry.

As winner of this year’s award, Adam will have the opportunity to broaden his industry knowledge and experience through a $10,000 research grant.

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



2009 New Zealand’s Young Bread Baker of the Year

This year’s winner was Richard Mehana from Quality Bakers Auckland.

Richard began working at Quality Bakers Auckland in February 2004.  He began his Plant Baking Apprenticeship in March 2006, signing on as a Modern Apprentice because of his age, and he did his training on Plant 1.  During his apprenticeship he was nominated by his Plant Manager to compete in the Quality Bakers Apprentice of the Year.  This was a very close competition and the two occasions Richard entered it provided him valuable experience and confidence for the future.  He completed his Level 4 qualification in February 2009 which made him eligible to enter the New Zealand Young Baker of the Year.

Richard’s research and presentation topic for the Young Baker of the Year competition was the Accurist 2 divider.  This is a relatively new design of divider, with none currently in production in New Zealand or Australia.  Richard did most of his research through the Baker Perkins web site but also contacted Geoff Hawley, their Sales Manager for this region of the world, and Andy Boyce, their local representative.  Richard’s all round performance was the key to his win and he receives a cup and a research grant up to $10,000 for research such as overseas travel to look at new technology, ingredients, process or trends in products. 

As Richard was aged under 23 on January 1 2009, he was also nominated to represent New Zealand, (and of course Goodman Fielder), in the LA Judge Award held at the Bread Research Institute in Sydney.  This award is seen as the most prestigious award available in Australia and this years Award was the 42nd time it had been competed for.  Richard competed extremely well in this event with his scores coming very close to the winning candidate.

2008 Young Baker of the Year - Steve Beamish

As the recipient of the 2008 Young Baker of the year award, I was able to use my research grant to take two overseas trips – the first of these was an invitation to attend an expo at Baker Perkins in Peterborough, London. Bakeries from all over the world were represented; including New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden just to name a few.

We spent one of two days touring the Baker Perkins factory with the benefit of well structured presentations and technicians on hand to answer our questions. The bulk of the tour was centred around three new innovative products from Baker Perkins.

1. The tweedy pressure vacuum mixer – Established enhancements and future developments

2. The Accurist 2 Dough Divider – Direct drive controlled server, and

3. The Multitex4 Moulder – Quality benefits within this stage.

It was clear from the start that Baker Perkins have had to adapt to changes in legislation and customers expectations of what quality product is. Equipment now has H&S and Food Safety aspects incorporated into its design albeit sometimes at the cost of efficiency.

The 2nd Day was made up of a site visit to Jackson’s of Hull, a bakery whose sole business is to bake bread for sandwiches. This means that the specs are tight and need to be controlled every step of the way. The plants were initially losing money on branded product and made the decision to close all plants bar one and to expand and upgrade the plant that was left. They even decided to change the product running through their plant and to focus on a market that had few players in it. As a result they are now making record profit and have the largest share of this particular market which extends also into parts of Europe.

My last trip was to the UBE Factory in Compton, Los Angeles where I was able to inspect the new safety features on baggers ordered for the New Zealand market. A tour of the factory gave me an opportunity to see differing stages of the baggers being built. A number of changes have been made around Health and Safety which included a light curtain between the slicer and bagger which stops the machine as soon as the beam is broken. This is currently non existent on our baggers and will decrease the risk factor by 95 - 100%.
Also evident was the fact that UBE have less moving parts in their baggers which means from a food safety aspect there is less areas for grease and crumb to become entrapped.

On the same day I had the opportunity to visit 2 small bakeries, both of which had some interesting concepts that have helped me understand the US bakery market in great depth.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Baking Industry Research Trust for the opportunity to make these trips and I would encourage all emerging bakers to participate in these awards.

Steve Beamish
2008 Young Baker of the Year