THE man behind Australia’s best beef pie credits Tafe with equipping him with the skills to climb to the top of the nation’s pastry pile.
Tommy Nguyen’s Oven Crisp Bakery was crowned the overall winner of the Official Great Aussie Pie Competition at the weekend.
It comes one year after Oven Crisp Bakery’s plain beef pie was bestowed the same honour in the Baking Association of Australia Best Pie and Pastie Competition.
Mr Nguyen has owned the Bull Creek and Riverton business for seven years but said his fortunes turned around after enrolling in a cooking course at Tafe.
“When we started out we had very Asian tastes, so all of the flavours in our pies were combined together and nothing really stood out,” he said.
“At Tafe I learnt the real Australian way, which is to emphasise each component.
“When you bite into the pie you taste the beef straight away, then the gravy and then you feel the salt in your mouth and finally the pepper at the finish.”
Mr Nguyen uses a combination of mince and chunky steak in the winning pie, which has been refined over the years using the feedback from both competition judges and customers.
“If we do get something wrong, like adding too much salt or too much pepper, our customers are the first to let us know,” he said.
With more than 1000 beef pies flying off Oven Crisp Bakery shelves each week, Mr Nguyen now plans to turn his attention to other pastry-clad creations.
“We recently won best sausage roll at the Perth Royal Show and I’d also like to get more involved in gourmet pies which require you to be a lot more creative,” he said.