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New Zealand‘s first Vegan Pie Awards took place yesterday – on World Vegan Day – and an omnivore judge praised the quality of the entrants.

The country’s Bakels Supreme Pie Awards are an institution, but Bakels refused to include vegan entrants, leading to baker Philippa Stephenson asking the New Zealand Vegan Society to launch its own.

More than 90 pies were entered into the inaugural competition, with three judging presiding over seven flavor categories.

Vegan pastry

“We’ve had a lot of chilli kind of pies with kidney beans and that sort of thing – a lot of pumpkin, and sweet potato,” judge Josh Barlow, Executive Chef at The Sugar Club at Auckland’s Sky Tower, said in a statement.

“I’m not sure what they’re using exactly [for pastry], but probably a lot of olive oils and margarine, and that sort of thing. But a couple of them have really stood out as really good pastries.

“There were a couple of pies that were visually and texturally the same as a mince and cheese pie that we’re all used to.”

A spiced apple and blueberry pie took the top spot.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.