The pie king

Wellington (dpa) – Patrick Lam had never seen, let alone eaten, a pie when he arrived in New Zealand as a refugee from Cambodia 13 years ago. Today, he is the nation’s undisputed Pie King – again.

Patrick won the national Supreme Pie Award on Tuesday for the fourth time in the competition’s 14-year history. His bacon-and-egg special was named the best of a record 4,336 entries from 386 bakeries in this year’s competition.

Lam, who owns Gold Star Patrick’s Pies in Rotorua and Tauranga, won the supreme award in 2003 with a mince and cheese pie and in 2004 and again last year with a gourmet meat pie.

“The pastry is the secret,” he told Television New Zealand’s Breakfast programme on Wednesday. “If you make good pastry, you make a good pie.”

Asian bakers dominate the New Zealand pie scene, contributing 70 per cent of the entries in this year’s competition and winning 80 per cent of the awards across all categories.