Tyrone has been baking since 2013. After five years at Countdown in Auckland and a short stint at New World, he joined Quality Bakers Auckland in 2019 and has recently moved to Quality Bakers in Dunedin where he is Chief Baker. He completed his Level 4 Plant Baking qualification this year and his focus at work is on producing small goods. He sees his strengths going into the competition as being in hand moulding and theory. He says he loves the science behind baking, as knowing how everything works makes it easy to solve problems as they arise. He is keen on getting a more detailed insight into the world of baking through the competition.
Nick has been a baker at Quality bakers in Auckland since 2018. Originally from India, he arrived in New Zealand in 2013 where he tried his hand at craft baking for three years. He says working with people of all nationalities gave him the opportunity to see how they did things and learn from them. Nick completed an apprenticeship in Plant Bakery specialising in bread and is now a supervisor and team leader. He enjoys the challenge of trialling new recipes and managing the changes to recipe formulations to meet flour specifications, as well as looking after staff. He has been looking forward to getting involved in the more technical side of baking at this year’s competition. Having competed before, says he feels more confident in his practical skills this time.
Zen is Bakery Manager at Queenstown New World where she has made huge improvements in the range and sales since she arrived. She sees the competition as exciting and a great learning experience. Originally from Dunedin, Zen started working as a baker at 19 at the New World there making muffins, cakes and biscuits. After completing a four-year apprenticeship and a diploma in Small Business and Project Management, she wanted to progress her career, so she moved to Queenstown where she can use and improve her creative and management skills. Zen says she is always looking for the next step in her career and loves the science behind baking. She has entered the competition for the challenge and the opportunity to learn something new.
Yari hails from Panama. She arrived in New Zealand in 2022 after gaining a scholarship which was delayed for two years during the Covid pandemic. While she waited to come to New Zealand, Yari started teaching herself to bake and opened a small business selling cakes, sweets and biscuits. Growing up in a family where no-one enjoyed cooking, she took it on herself to find out how it is done well and is exploring both cheffing and baking. She hit the ground running and is completing a Level 5 in Pastry and Culinary Excellence. She was Student of the Year in 2022. Starting out in a small craft bakery, she went on to join The Ascot Park Hotel where she has had the opportunity to work in many different departments and is now a chef. Having competed in the Golden Chef Competition earlier this year she is well placed to handle the pressure of the Young Bread Baker of the Year Competition.
Euan, a Bakery Manager at Daily Bread in Auckland, was looking for an apprenticeship when he started as a bakery hand at Countdown some years ago. Having baked at home he was interested in taking it further and increasing his skills. A move to Best Ugly Bagel gave him the opportunity to do his apprenticeship and he now has a level 4 Craft bakery qualification. He says working at Best Ugly Bagel taught him that baking is not something you just do at home for fun, it is a science. He says his strengths are in mixing, shaping, problem solving and management, which he practices daily in his role at Daily Bread.