Young Queensland baker Amie Stewart takes out baking’s top gong

Friday 18 May, 2018

The title of Baking Apprentice of the Year has been claimed by Queensland for the second year in a row, thanks to young gun Toowoomba baker Amie Stewart.

Amie, from Westbrook on the Rise Bakery in Toowoomba, fended off some strong competition to win the coveted 2018 LA Judge Award, hosted by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC).

Amie was crowned the winner at a gala ceremony in Sydney last night, presented by AEGIC and Woolworths.  With over 200 industry guests on the night, the event was a roaring success.

The judges were impressed with Amie’s baking skills, level of organisation, knowledge and confidence. Amie presented as a well-rounded baker, set to become a future industry leader.

Amie decided she wanted to become a baker in 2012, after working at a small bakery as a shop assistant and falling in love with the trade.

“The thing that motivates me to be a baker is the constant learning opportunities that come with it,” she said. “I love learning and playing around with artisan breads and experimenting with different flavour profiles.”

“The best thing about being a baker is you become a lifelong learner and you are a part of a wider community full of support and guidance.”

LA Judge Award Director Dr Ken Quail said the five candidates from around Australia and New Zealand were all very promising young bakers.

“Simply competing in the LA Judge Award is a victory in itself, and all five of this year’s bakers should be very proud of themselves,” he said.

“Congratulations to all the candidates, especially this year’s winner Amie. Amie has shown herself to be a very mature and skilled baker and I’m sure there are big things ahead for her.”

As part of her prize, Amie will receive a special five-day all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium to visit the headquarters of eminent baking and ingredients company Puratos. Amie will have the opportunity to take part in bakery demonstrations, tour Puratos’ famed sourdough library and visit its various museums and facilities.

Jacob Saunders, representing New Zealand, was this year’s runner up and  has been awarded a two day work shop in the Puratos Hong Kong baking centre. Jacob was highly competitive and performed well across the different components of the competition.

Dr Quail said the LA Judge Award relied on the support of industry sponsors. “The support from the sponsors this year was fantastic and we encourage the baking industry to get behind these companies as they are investing in the future of our industry.”

The win edges Queensland (12 wins) closer to NSW (14 wins) on the all-time leaderboard.

The LA Judge Award has been running since 1967 and is open to young apprentice bakers under 23 who are keen to make their mark on the baking industry. The competition takes place over three days and includes all aspects of baking, including practical baking skills, technical knowledge and presentation abilities.

Winner Amie Stewart (Queensland) and runner-up Jacob Saunders (New Zealand)

Media contact
Keir Tunbridge
0409 991 817

More information

STATE / COUNTRY Number of Wins
NSW 14
Queensland 12
Western Australia 9
Victoria 8
South Australia 4
New Zealand 4
Tasmania 1

2018 Judges

Neil Beattie (Lesaffre)
James Stone (Vanrooy)
John Watt (Allied Pinnacle)

2018 LA Judge Award candidates

QUEENSLAND: Amie Stewart, 23. Westbrook on the Rise Bakery, Toowoomba

TASMANIA: Bradley Comins, 22. Manubread, Launceston

NEW ZEALAND: Jacob Saunders, 23. Rolleston Bakery, Christchurch

VICTORIA: Tegan Williams, 23. Rutherglen Bakery

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Dylan Rossi, 20. Bakers Delight, Armadale


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Media contact
Keir Tunbridge
0409 991 817