Friday 2 August 2013

We ate all the pies! - Pierate Pie Contest

The lowdown on what happened at the first ever Pierate Pie Contest.
Click here for info about the pies, including the People's Choice pie winner!

“I’ve never seen so many pies!” exclaimed pie contest guest Jeremy at the first ever Pierate Pie Contest. And you’d be forgiven for having such a reaction to what was quite simply a pie-octane, stomach-filling pie extravaganza!
Guests (and wannabe Pierateers) at the Pierate Pie Contest 2013!
“But what is a Pierate Pie Contest?” I hear you cry. Well, if we’re completely honest, hosts Pierateer RAS and TJP did kind of make it up as we went along! After all, this was the first ever Pie Contest we’d hosted and I can tell you a lot was learnt from the experience. Plans were altered, judges changed, but from the reaction of the people who came, all enjoyed the night and none of the guests left feeling they hadn’t quite had enough pie...

Arriving early to set-up and decorate the hall in Birmingham, with the help of good friends Adam, Barnaby and James, the Pierate banners and amazing pie bunting (thanks Ro and Claire!) made the room feel more like a pie home from home. The old adage “I before E, especially after P” adorned the welcome sign and the trophy for the pie winner was set out in front of the judges table. The night itself kicked off with a welcome and a short recital from Gina Hyam’s fab book “Pie Contest in a Box”, which had provided some of the inspiration for hosting a Pierate Pie Contest in the first place.

While Pierateer RAS was making sure the pies were cooking nicely in the oven, Pierateer TJP was already keeping loyal @Pierateers Twitter fans up-to-date with the goings on and behind the scenes info and did a short introduction for our pie contest guests on the 7 Cs, which have become synonymous with pie rating. People would later be rating the pies out of 7, based on the Pierate judging system (click here for more info on the Seven Cs).

  It’s here that we had our warm up for the evening, having what else but pie for dinner! Pie, mash and veg – and where else could we turn for our pie dinner than the number one ranked pie on – Paul’sPies! The pies were very generously donated to us by Paul and the pie team, for which we are very grateful. And unsurprisingly Paul’s Pies went down a storm! The main problem was reminding people that they shouldn’t eat too much pie before the actual pie contest itself began – no easy feat!

What followed was what can only be described as a feat of pie cooking engineering, as 13 pies were consumed by the pie contest guests – 11 cooked pies (of which 8 were savoury and three sweet) and 2 cold pork pies. While people generally didn’t eat all 13 (big credit to anyone who did manage it!) we got a good range of pies sampled and the majority of those pies were homemade. Great effort to all the contestants! We did have a few additional shop-bought sweet pies which we unfortunately didn’t have time to cook, however some of them have been saved for a rainy day!

In the end, with the Pierateers busy cooking and serving the pies, it was taken upon the 25 guests to rate each pie that they ate. Scorecards were filled in, based on the “Pie Contest in a Box” guidelines, but with a score out of 7 given for each pie (which did make the maths at the end a bit trickier!) Once the scorecards had been collected in and scores counted up, the night concluded with prize giving for the People’s Choice pie and the Pierateers were grateful for all the help provided by good friends to help set down the venue.

It was certainly a memorable night for all who attended and we’ll be blogging more about the pie entries (including our first ever winner) in the coming few days! However for a sneak peek, catch up with the pie contest on our @pierateers twitter feed from Friday night!

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