June 28th, 2012
Rising Young Baker 2012
After a gruelling one and a half hours of competing in front of a live audience, and with a calmness to rival even a professional baker, 14 year old Sam Heaven took out the Competenz and BIANZ Rising Young Baker competition at Fine Food New Zealand this June.
Sam, from St John’s College in Hastings, was competing against two other students from around the country – Mariah McGregor, 17 years old from Manurewa High School in Auckland, and Jess Wallace, 17 years old from Lytton High in Gisborne.
“I’ve always been interested in baking, and I’m lucky to work part time at my father’s bakery – Heavens Bakery,” says Sam. “I’m only a dish hand, but if I prove myself for long enough I’ll get to move up.”
The young bakers had the support of experienced and qualified tutors: Graham Heaven from Plant & Food Research, Malcolm Cook from Bakels, and Phill Gloistein, an ex Chef now training to be a teacher.
“I’ve been working with my Granddad Graham for the last month preparing for this,” says Sam. “It feels awesome to have won!”
Each contestant had to craft cupcakes to an Olympic theme, as well as a more traditional ciabatta bread and fruit strudel pastry. Their efforts were then tasted and tested by judges Peter Rood, Competenz Baking Industry Specialist, and Kathy Kearns from Viands Bakery – winner of the 2011 & 2012 Bakery of the Year Award.
“The quality of work produced was outstanding,” says Peter. “It’s great to see just how passionate the competitors are about baking – there were only 6 points between first and third.”
As the winner, Sam took home an iPad, a $1,000 scholarship towards a baking apprenticeship, a Slice Magazine subscription and a new baking uniform.
The competition was run by Competenz and BIANZ, the Baking Industry Association of New Zealand, in a collaborative effort to promote baking as a career pathway for our youth.
“I want to do my apprenticeship and become a qualified baker when I finish school. I think this is a great trade to have,” says Sam.
“My goal is to have my own ‘Cakery’ so I can bake cakes that people from all over New Zealand will want to buy.”
Click here to go to our Facebook album for more photos of the competition and Sam