For the seventh time, baker Patrick Lam has been announced as New Zealand's king of pies.
Lam, who owns three bakeries in Tauranga, Bethlehem and Rotorua, won the top award at Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards on Tuesday evening with his mince and cheese pie.
He also had the best bacon and egg pie and came in third with his chicken and vegetable pie, and vegetarian pie.
Whittled down from 5326 pies entered by 553 bakers, it took nine hours for the judges, including celebrity chef judge Gareth Stewart, to decide the winner.
Bakels NZ managing director Brent Kersel said Lam's mine and cheese pie was the best he has ever tasted.
"The Supreme pie was absolute perfection. The pastry was golden, with perfect lamination, flaky, and a delight to bite into. The filling though surprised us. It was like the cheese had been swirled through the mince and the way it blended in your mouth as a result was exceptional, delicious," Kersel said.
Four mince and cheese pies have previously won the award, with the latest in 2013.
But Kersel said other standouts included The Flinstone, a pie with beef brisket and bone protruding the top pastry, and a slow-cooked pork belly pie cooked in apple cider and pear cider.
"It's interesting that out of all the categories the Mince & Cheese should take Supreme but then it proves that if you get the formula right, the eye-catching golden pastry and the beautifully cooked, well- seasoned filling, then, yes, Mince & Cheese can out-shine the others."
He took out the award for the seventh time, become the awards' most celebrated baker.
For winning the top award, two golds, and two bronzes, Lam pockets $9500 and the honour of calling himself pie king.
Best New Zealand pies
Mince & Gravy: Oliver's Bakehouse, Mission Bay, Auckland
Potato topped: Euro Patisserie, Torbay, Auckland
Steak & Cheese: Nada Bakery, Tawa, Wellington
Chicken & Vegetable: Kai Pai Wholesale, Wanaka
Cafe boutique: Original Foods, Wigram, Christchurch
Gourmet meat: Orewa Bakery, Orewa
Truckie & Tradie (Steak & Gravy): Euro Patisserie, Torbay, Auckland
Bacon & Egg: Goldstar Patrick's Pies, Tauriko, Tauranga
Mince & Cheese: Goldstar Patrick's Pies, Tauriko, Tauranga
Gourmet fruit: Ten O'Clock Cookie Bakery Cafe, Masterton
Vegetarian: Euro Patisserie, Torbay, Auckland
Commercial wholesale - mince & cheese: Oxford Pies, Pukete, Hamilton