Bexhill baker Lee Smith triumphed at the Tiptree World Bread Awards recently held in London.
He was handed the trophy for the fruit bread category by chair of judges and master baker Stephen Hallam at the prestigious event which saw star bakers from all over the UK drawn together.
Lee, of Bexhill Farm Kitchen, was also awarded a special merit for innovation for his rosemary and sultana sourdough.
“The competition was exceptional,” says Hallam, whose fellow judges included Charles Campion, from MasterChef, and Andrew Whitley, founder of The Real Bread Campaign. “We had very exacting criteria for judging, and every loaf was judged anonymously.”
Lee beat off competition from loaves sent in from around Great Britian to take the fruit bread crown and he was also runner-up in the Great British White category. Entries to the competition were brought by courier, taxi and even hand-delivered on the morning of the judging at Cathedral Hall, Westminster Cathedral, to ensure peak freshness.
The Tiptree World Bread Awards, launched in January 2013, seek to celebrate the very best of British bread baking. With 12 million loaves sold in the UK every day, it is an industry that certainly deserves to be celebrated. “The choice and range of bread in Britain today has never been greater,” says Caroline Kenyon, Director of the Awards.