The annual American Pie Council National Pie Championships will soon celebrate its 22nd consecutive year naming the nation’s top commercial, professional and amateur pie makers. This year’s event will take place April 28–30 at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL.
Bringing competitors and cooking co-conspirators together since 1995, the annual pie competition celebrates our nation's most beloved treat―the All-American pie—and honors those that dedicate their baking skills to creating award-winning pastry treasures.
“Pie is the cornerstone of American kitchens, bringing family, friends and loved ones together year after year over a simple, delicious piece of our nation's heritage,” says Linda Hoskins, executive director, American Pie Council. “Our annual championships are an opportunity for the best in the business to an engage in a healthy battle of the senses. There's always lots of fun, a healthy dose of competition, an unparalleled opportunity to showcase your abilities to pie aficionados around the country and increase your market share.”
Open to amateur pie makers, professionals and commercial pie manufacturers from throughout the U.S. and Canada, the competition features a panel of judges who will grant awards based on appearance, taste, consistency, crust and the overall product.
Of the 797 entries to the 2015 competition, 435 were in the commercial division and claimed 136 awards. The top three entrants dominating the charts were Bakers Square with 37 winning pies, followed by Legendary Baking with 30 and Bonert's Foods with 19.
This year’s commercial entrants will compete in 26 flavor categories, including apple, chocolate cream, citrus, peanut butter, berry and best new product. A new commercial division category—chicken pot pie—has been added this year.
“This is the first time in 22 years we've ever introduced a savory pie in any of our divisions,” says Hoskins. “We're always looking for inventive and timely new categories. Savory goes so well with sweet, and pot pies are certainly a hot trend. We're excited to add this to the mix!”
The commercial division championships will be held on April 28 and 29, and requires a $125 fee per pie entry for APC members, and a $250 fee for nonmembers. Participants are encouraged to register as early as possible to ensure a spot in the competition, as registration prices increase after March 25. Visit piecouncil.org to find out more and obtain an entry form.
By entering, participants will not only have the opportunity to sweeten their commercial sales by winning awards, but can attend an array of pie-related workshops, seminars and live demos at the Pie Learning Center; a luncheon sponsored by the American Bakers Association (ABA); and an awards cocktail reception courtesy of Colborne Foodbotics and D&W Fine Foods. Many local pastry chefs as well as other pie-related businesses will be presenting.
For the second year, APC will also be hosting the Give Kids the World Pie Party to benefit the national charity in Orlando. On Saturday, April 30, from 4–6 p.m., guests are invited to a free event featuring an apron fashion show, pie eating contests, an Iron Pie Chef Competition, a 200-pound pie courtesy of Legendary Baking and more! Ten-dollar tickets good for two slices of pie from commercial participants and coffee or tea will be sold at the event to benefit the charity. For more details, visit piecouncil.org.