The winners of the Tiptree World Bread Awards Heroes USA supported by the American Bakers Association were announced on Thursday, November 19, 2020 in a special online awards event, marking an extraordinary year for the nation.
Stephane Grattier, lead baker at Boulangerie Christophe in Georgetown, Washington D.C, was selected as Overall Winner. When lockdown was announced, Stephane took the selfless decision to bake fresh bread for the elderly and disabled individuals of his DC community. A few days later, Stephane decided these vulnerable people needed more, so in addition to the bread, he started making complete meals for them. Amazingly, Stephane would get into the bakery before 4am so that he was able to make the bread and meals ahead of his full working day.
In a letter to Stephane, D.C. Council member Brandon T. Todd said, ‘We are eternally grateful for your willingness to help our community in times of crisis. You have set the example for others across our ward, city and country and should be proud of the difference you have made.’
In normal times, the Awards celebrate the bread; hundreds of loaves would be delivered to Manhattan for assessment by a panel of esteemed judges. Instead, in a special edition for 2020, the Awards recognize the people behind the loaves: the bakers, millers and farmers.
Nominations for the Bread Heroes came in from right across the USA. ‘All the nominees in this year’s Awards truly deserve recognition for their generous, considerate and often altruistic initiatives to help others.’ said Stephen Hallam, chairman of the Judges.
5 regional winners were selected by the judging panel. The winners included a culinary school student from North Carolina who baked and donated loaves to a church food distribution program, a Minnesotan bakery that delivers by bike which doubled its output, a Seattle baking group that baked hundreds of loaves for donation to food pantries, and baking brothers in Texas who quickly adapted their family business to offer a delivery service and statewide shipping.
One of the judges, Dana Cowin, founder, Speaking Broadly, said, ‘Reading the entries for the Bread Heroes was pure pleasure. The only pain was trying to rank the entries! Everyone who was nominated is doing such great work for their community..’
‘The efforts of the bread community during these challenging times have been truly inspiring.’ said Scott Goodfellow, joing managing director, Tiptree. "We are delighted that this year’s Awards have been able to shine a light on their incredible endeavours."