The renowned Oggy Oscars are returning to the Eden Project in March 2018 with the staging of the seventh annual World Pasty Championships.
Entries are open for the gala event now firmly established as one of the greatest celebrations of Cornwall’s culinary gift to the world.
In a first for 2018, the championships will be the climax of the inaugural Cornish Pasty Week (February 25 to March 3 2018) inspired by the Eden event and delivered by industry membership body the Cornish Pasty Association.
Pasty makers from Cornwall, the UK and around the world will once again be converging on the former clay quarry near St Austell to try to win one of the hotly-contested Oggy Oscars – pasty-shaped trophies crafted from clay.
Eden chief executive Gordon Seabright said: “We’re very excited about the return of the World Pasty Championships, an event which brings Cornwall and the wider world together in a great celebration of our signature dish.”
The championships will be welcoming back one of the major winners from last year. Gerry Ramier, who is from St. Catherine’s in Ontario, Canada, in the shadow of the Niagara Falls, won the Cornish Pasty Professional category last year.
Ramier, who runs the Piskie Pie Company and cooked his pasty in Cornwall to ensure it was eligible for the Cornish category, plans to defend his title and also compete in the Open Savoury Professional category for non-traditional pasties.
He said: “It was an absolute blast to attend last year’s championships and I’m looking forward to coming back in the spring.
“In addition to my Cornish pasty, I’ll be submitting entries which will boast the beautiful and delicate flavors present in Niagara in the springtime as well as a homage to a traditional dish from Quebec.”
Also among the overseas competitors will be Mike “The Pasty” Burgess of The Pure Pasty Co. in Vienna, Virginia, USA, returning for the second year running.
British-born Mike, who fell in love with the pasty on childhood holidays in Cornwall, is looking to expand his business by distributing pasties across the USA via an internet fulfillment company.
He said: “This year was our first World Pasty Championships – I was completely blown away. Much bigger than I expected. The organisers were doing a tremendous job, and the people were just like family. So, YES, I’m coming back. I love it!”
Regular categories – amateur, professional, junior and company for both Cornish and non-Cornish pasties – all return. A new Pasty Ambassador will also be chosen.
During Cornish Pasty Week, the Cornish Pasty Association will be working with Cornish pasty-makers across the length and breadth of Cornwall, and with those who sell Cornish pasties across the UK and beyond, to create a week’s worth of fun, special offers and information about the much-loved food.
A social media campaign will be launched, using the #pastysmile and members of the Association will be working with local community groups and schools to spread the essential skills involved, with crimping and pasty-making sessions. From Cornish pasty pub quizzes to competitions, there will be something for everyone.
Jason Jobling, chair of the Cornish Pasty Association, said: “The seventh annual World Pasty Championships at Eden will be a great way to round off all the activities of our first-ever Cornish Pasty Week.
“This humble dish may have its origins down the Cornish mines, but it is now worth over £300 million to the local economy and is without doubt one of the nation’s favourite foods.”
To enter the World Pasty Championships 2018 or find out more about the competition go to www.edenproject.com/pasty