QUEENSLAND baker Chloe Murray has won the LA Judge Award for Baking Apprentice of the Year.
Ms Murray, from Woolworths in Kirkwood near Gladstone, emerged victorious after a tough two-day competition at the AEGIC Sydney Pilot Bakery.
Her win was announced at a gala ceremony in Sydney yesterday, with the prize presented by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) and Woolworths.
Tasmania’s Luke Williams was named runner-up in the close competition.
As part of her prize, Ms Murray will receive a one week all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium to visit the headquarters of baking and ingredients company Puratos, where she will take part in training and bakery demonstrations.
She will also get to tour Puratos’ famous sourdough library, and visit the Puratos Innovation Centre and Becolade Chocolate Centre, among other facilities.
As runner-up, Mr Williams wins $1000 cash, plus a two-day training session with Puratos in Sydney.
The other candidates, Isabelle Trees (WA) and Joshua Chapman (Qld) will also receive training from Puratos.
LA Judge Award director Dr Ken Quail said the 2022 candidates were all very talented young bakers.
“With a smaller field this year, there was tight competition for first and second place,” Dr Quail said.
“This pushed the candidates to absolutely give it their best.
“Chloe Murray performed well across all aspects of the competition.
“Her practical, theory and presentation skills were all outstanding.
“Runner-up Luke Williams and all the candidates absolutely deserved to be there and are a credit to their employers and trainers.
Dr Quail said competing in the LA Judge Award was s a big achievement in and of itself, and that the competition relied on the support of industry sponsors.
“Once again the industry showed very strong support for the LA Judge Award and it is very much appreciated.”
The LA Judge Award is organised and hosted by AEGIC, and has been running since 1967.
It is open to young apprentice bakers who are keen to make their mark on the baking industry.
The competition takes place over three days and includes all aspects of baking, including practical baking skills, technical knowledge and presentation abilities.
Judges for this year’s competition were: Corey King of Australian Bakels; Morgan Clementson of Puratos Australia and New Zealand, and AEGIC’s Jason Swift.