Northern Ireland bakery wins Irish wheaten loaf title
The best traditional Irish Wheaten Loaf in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland is baked by Ann’s Pantry in Larne, county Antrim.
The small bakery won the hotly contested Irish Wheaten Loaf category in the World Bread Awards. In addition, the bakery, owned by baker John Agnew and Helen Porter, also collected the coveted prize for the Best Fruit Loaf.
The World Bread Awards were announced in London and are sponsored by Tiptree with Brook Food. The awards, launched in January 2013, celebrate the very best of British bread baking.
In second place in the wheaten loaf category were Anthony and Jim O’Keefe of Corn Dolly Foods, Newry and third was Stephen Bell, Ballydougan Pottery, Portadown.
There was, furthermore, a fine crop of gold, silver and bronze awards too for Northern Ireland, given to entrants scoring especially high marks for their bakes – Ann’s Pantry scored four golds, while James Herron of The Cookie Jar, Newcastle, collected two golds; Stephen Bell, Ballydougan Restaurant, Portadown, Noeline McCooey, Irwins Bakery, Portadown; and Anthony and Jim O’Keefe, Corn Dolly Foods, Newry, scored gold.
Alan Burns, Amber Catering & Cakes, Antrim, won gold and silver, Lois Shaw, Shaw’s Home Bakery, Newtownards, a silver. Simon Maccabe, Café Smart, Belfast and Lynne Gardiner, Amazin’ Grazin’, Portstewart scored one bronze.
The Irish Wheaten Bread category in the World Awards was supported by Food NI and Andrew’s Ingredients of Lisburn, a major supplier of premium ingredients for the bakery industry.
As winner of the Irish Wheaten Loaf category, John Agnew was presented with his trophy by Claire Andrew of Andrew Ingredients. The home bakery has also won a series of UK Great Taste Awards.
Stars of the bread-baking world gathered together at St John’s Church, Hyde Park, London for the much-anticipated announcement of the winners.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Stephen Hallam, Master Baker, Managing Director of Dickinson & Morris and Chair of the Judges.
“The field was more competitive than ever,” says Hallam, whose fellow judges, all 100 of them, included Apollonia Poilane of the legendary Paris bakery Poilane, Dr John Foster of BBC’s Victorian Bakers and Harry Lomas MBE, Executive Head Chef, Wembley Stadium, as well as Finbar Haughey of Andrew Ingredients and Belfast Metropolitan College.
Jam producer Tiptree is headline sponsor of the World Bread Awards. The first Tiptree preserves were made in 1885 and Tiptree jams and preserves are now sold across the world, many of them made with fruit still grown on their farms in Essex.
Brook Food is passionate about the bakery industry and proud to pass on this enthusiasm to their customers when working with them on equipment solutions for their businesses.
Presenting the award for Best Irish Wheaten Loaf to John McVeigh, Ann’s Pantry, Larne, are Claire Andrews, sponsor, Andrew’s Ingredients, Lisburn and chair of Judges Stephen Hallam.