2022 L.A. Judge Award

L. A. Judge Award 2022

The L.A. Judge Award, is the most prestigious award in the Australian baking industry. Established by AEGIC in 1967, this annual event enables the nomination of one young baking apprentice from each Australia state/territory and New Zealand to showcase their skills in a grueling three day competition of communication abilities, technical knowledge, and practical baking.

Les Judge - L.A. Judge Award

The competition was named after Les Judge who was involved in the establishment of the Bread Research Institute of Australia (now AEGIC Sydney). And dedicated his baking career to bridging the gap between bakers, millers, and growers to improve wheat and bread quality for the benefit of the whole industry.

The competition takes place over three days and is hosted by AEGIC at their Pilot Bakery in Sydney. Judges are chosen from the industry to support and mentor competitors through the competition. The 2022 Judges included Morgan Clementson (Sourdough Ambassador, Puratos), Corey King (National Industrial Manager, Bakels Australia), and Jason Swift (Wheat Quality and Processing, Baking Specialist AEGIC).

2022 L.A. Judge Award - Judges

2022 L.A. Judge Award Judges (Left to Right): Corey King, Morgan Clementson, Sabrina Lim (AEGIC), and Jason Swift.

With the world recovering from the after effects of Coronavirus this years nominations provided a tight competition with only four candidates. A one off exception was made to the nomination criteria (formal study completion time frame) to make up for not being able to hold the competition during 2019 and 2020. The four competitors included Luke Williams (Davenport, Tasmania), Chloe Murray (Kirkwood, Queensland), Joshua Chapman (Mackay, Queensland), and Isabelle Trees (Belmont, Western Australia).

2022 L.A. Judge Award Contestants

2022 L.A. Judge Award Contestants (Left to Right): Luke Williams, Chloe Murray, Joshua Chapman, and Isabelle Trees

The contestants flew to Sydney for the week and spent most of their time in the AEGIC Pilot Bakery and Sydney Office. They each completed a series of tasks including an individual presentation to introduce themselves to the judges, a presentation about baking related subjects, a number of technical theory exam papers, a variety of practical exercises, and a master class with the judges.

After three days of competition the winner was announced at the Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony held at the spectacular Doltone House in Pyrmont (Sponsored by Woolworths). The evening was MCed by Dr Ken Quail from AEGIC and attended by a broad selection of bakers, pastrycooks, industry sales representatives, and other VIPs such as 2019 winner Tristan Beisler.

Chloe Murray was crowned the official winner with Luke Williams coming in as runner up, by Alan Xu Managing Director of Puratos Australia and New Zealand (Major Sponsor and Prize Sponsor). The major prize includes a one week all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium to visit the Puratos headquarters. Along with training demonstrations, visits to various facilities including the Puratos Sourdough Library, the Puratos Innovation Centre, and the Belcolade Chocolate Centre to name a few. As runner-up, Luke has won $1000 cash and all candidates will attend a two-day training session with Puratos in Sydney.

“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. Competing in the L.A. Judge Award is a big achievement in and of itself,” Dr Quail said.

The L. A. Judge Award is a fantastic initiative for the Australian and New Zealand baking industry and would not be possible without support from the following sponsors. On behalf of AEGIC, the judges, and the competitors the NBIA would like to congratulate the contestants and thank all who assisted with organisation or sponsored the event, and those who came along to the Gala Dinner to celebrate these talented young baking apprentices.