A pie made for and named by the Finley and district community is the best flavoured beef pie in Australia.
The Finley Farmer’s Choice pie, created by Finley Bakery & Patisserie, was named the sole gold medal winner in the flavoured beef section at the 2017 Australia’s Best Pie and Pastie Competition.
It was one of 14 medals the local eatery earned at last week’s awards, held at Moonee Valley Racecourse, and bakery director Andrew Richardson said the whole community can be proud of the pie’s success.
‘‘This pie really sells our area, with local beef sourced from local butchers,’’ Mr Richardson said.
‘‘After last year’s pie competition we came away determined to develop a gold medal pie. Pastry chef Micka Littlejohn and his crew developed this pie using local beef which is slow cooked for tenderness, with caramelised onion added for sweetness.
‘‘We came up with the idea to put a map of Australia on the top, and there’s a small hole in the pie signifying Finley’s location. It’s one of our gourmet pies, and slightly larger than the others.
‘‘We put it out to our community to name the pie for us, and there were three who came up with the Finley Farmer’s Choice. ’’
Mr Richardson said having the 2017 best beef flavoured pie in Australia was already paying dividends, with more people stopping in Finley and at the bakery just to try it.
‘‘The day after we won the gold (which was announced last Wednesday) our sales of this particular pie doubled,’’ Mr Richardson said.
‘‘I had done an interview about the win on ABC radio, and one gentleman from Hay who was travelling to Albury stopped in Finley specifically to try our pie.
‘‘Winning gold is a reward for all the hard work in the back of the bakery by Micka and his staff, and recognition of the local community.
‘‘We now expect more people will come to Finley to try our pie, and hopefully that means they will spend more time in our town.’’
Finley Bakery & Patisserie also won eight silver medals, including best apprentice pastie made by school based apprentice Simi Naicori. The bakery also won silver with its traditional and gourmet pasties.
In the pie section, it won silver for the plain mince beef, chunky beef and pepper, chunky beef and bacon, beef and reef, and curried sausage pies.
The bakery claimed bronze for its vegetable pastie and for its cheese and bacon, tuna, curried sausage and potato, and lamb and rosemary pies. Bronze was also awarded for second year apprentice James Ogilvie’s plain mince pie.
Mr Richardson said the tuna pie was made specifically for the Finley Football Netball Club’s traditional Good Friday match against the Deniliquin Rams two years ago, and has been a hit ever since.
He said the bakery is working on creating a Travellers Pie, specifically aimed at the grey nomads and other visitors who pass through the town.
In the meantime, Mr Richardson said feedback received from judges regarding their award winning pies will be implemented to make them even better.
The family owned business is also working on some improvements to the bakery itself, which should be unveiled soon.