Pie in the sky dreams for Buckingham baker
A professional pie-maker from Buckingham has been shortlisted for an award in this year's World Championship Scotch Pie Awards.
Paul Capener is no stranger to the world of competitive pie-making, and took home the top award (the British Pie Championships) earlier this year.
Being shortlisted is no small feat as more than 80 butchers and bakers from up and down the country entered the competition, with close to 500 products being sorted into 11 categories among this year's entrants.
A panel of more than 50 professional judges assessed each and every product, judging on appearance, quality, consistency and taste.
Mr Capener has four entries that have been shortlisted for this year's competition - three in the hot savoury category, including a pheasant, bacon and black pudding pie
He also has an entry in the haggis pie category with a haggis and chicken creation.
Mr Capener has enjoyed a varied career from restaurant manager to head chef and executive chef.
From January 1 next year he will be working as executive chef at Addington Equestrian where pies will of course be part of the menu.
Mr Capener said he aims to "keep it fresh and keep it local" when it comes to sourcing ingredients.
Speaking about his career and the competitions he enters he added: “I've been a chef for over 30 years and more recently moved into baking.”
“I usually enter just one or two competitions a year.
“I've won around 30 awards in the short time I have been entering competitions, my first award was an entry for the Best Steak Pie in England awards 2013.”
The awards are organised by Scottish Bakers and its chief executive Alasdair Smith said: “The World Championship Scotch Pie awards is the only competition of its kind recognising excellence in the preparation of a perfect pie.
"The competition is now a regular fixture on the calendar as butcher and bakers throughout the land vie for pie supremacy.”
The awards cover various pies and other savoury items with the categories as follows:
Scotch pie, football pies and savouries, macaroni pie, steak pie, sausage roll, cold savoury, hot savoury, vegetarian savoury, haggis savoury, bridie (a Scottish pastry) and apple pie.
The scotch pie award has the most glamour attached to it as the winner is crowned world champion.
Judging started earlier this month and the winners will be announced during a lunch at the Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld next year.