Schools battle it out in Reaseheath’s Great Pie Bake-Off

Budding food technologists from schools across the region battled it out in a baking challenge laid down by Reaseheath College’s Food Department

Ten finalists from secondary schools throughout Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Manchester and the Wirral made it through to the Schools Great British Pie Bake Off, held in our specialist Food Centre last week.  The pupils, who had to bake a pie or pastry with a sporting theme, stunned the judging panel with the standard and originality of their products.

Overall winner was Harry Brown, 14, from Fallibroome Academy, Macclesfield, with his ‘Two Flavour Bike Pie’, an artistic impression of a bike inspired by the Tour de France. His entry had coq au vin and apple pies for wheels, a frame made of bread and a road made from chocolate.

Harry, who enjoys baking as a hobby, won a cash prize plus two iPads for his school. He said: “Reaseheath’s bakery facilities are really impressive and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was great to get such positive feedback from the judges. They said they really liked the combination of flavours in my pies!”

Second was Maddie Stevens, 15, a pupil at West Kirby Grammar School, Wirral, whose ‘Going for Gold’ savoury pie celebrated the commonwealth games and the countries involved. The pie, which was decorated with gold glitter dust, had tasty layers of spinach, ricotta cheese and butternut squash.

Equal third were Ben Pratt, 13, and Connor Whalley, 14, from Sir Thomas Boughey High School in Stoke on Trent, and Megan Justice, 14, a pupil of Great Sankey High School, Warrington. As a tribute the high ranking Greek football team, Ben and Connor made Greek filo pastries filled with spinach, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese while Megan chose the World Cup 2014 winner, Germany, as inspiration for her Black Forest Winner Pie.

Other finalists were:

  • Alex Camp, 13, from Eaton Bank Academy, Congleton (Le Tour de Clanger)
  • Kathryn O’Hara, 15, and Megan Quayle, 14, from Great Sankey High School, Warrington (Apple Struesel Tart)
  • Leah Robinson, 15, from Wellington School, Altrincham (Medal Pie)
  • Grace Callaghan, 15, from Wellington School , Altrincham (Football Pie)
  • Erin Yorke, 14, from The Heath School, Runcorn (Reggae Pie)
  • Emily Bozier , 15, and Emily Dutton 14, from Grove School, Market Drayton (Galloping to Victory)

The judging panel of Keith Fisher, Butchery Development Manager for BPEX (the British Pig Executive), Cheshire WI judge Mary Hignett and David Thomson, Sales Executive for Bako, a baking products and ingredients supplier, were looking for originality, presentation and taste.

Keith Fisher said: “I was very impressed with the organisation and professionalism of the young people, and there was so much passion and enthusiasm. It was a privilege to judge the competition. Reaseheath’s food department should be congratulated on running such an inspired and exciting competition.”

This was the second time that our Food Department has run the bake-off challenge and it attracted about 80 entries. It has proved so popular that there are already plans to repeat it next year. Many of the young entrants have been inspired to look at careers in the Food Industry and some are intending to study with us in the future.

For further details of Reaseheath’s food courses see