The Great American Pie Festival and APC Crisco National Pie Championships are this weekend which means we are getting ready for Bryan “The Pie Guy’s” arrival.
This is Bryan. Hi Bryan! Bryan lives in California. Shout out to California! We call him “The Pie Guy” because he makes pies. Yeah for pies! He actually got the name “Bryan, the Pie Guy” (one big name) because that’s how he is referred to when sharing about him with other friends. They all know of the guy that comes from California to enter pies in the Pie Competition but they never remember his real name. Whenever I mention him it is always “Bryan, the Pie Guy” (BPG)
Starting in 2005, BPG has been making the journey cross country for the annual National Pie Championship. The National Pie Championship is sponsored by the American Pie Council and Cisco and is held the same weekend as the Great American Pie Festival. Between all the events it is a 3 day celebration of pies! Oh, and it is held in Celebration, Florida.
BPG has had great success at the National Pie Championship. He has received honors every year he has entered.
Here is BPG with a first place ribbon in 2005.
BPG wins First Place in 2010.
In 2011 he won the whole enchilada!
BPG won First Place for his category in the Professional Division and because his pie was AMAZING he took Best in Show. I love the big check! I wanted him to leave it but he shipped it home. Let me just say that my kitchen produced a Best in Show Pie. It had nothing to do with BPG, it was all to do with my kitchen (just don’t tell BPG).
This is the pie that won best in show “Engagement Ring Pie.” Last year there was a special “Royal Wedding” category in honor of Prince William and Katherine Middleton’s wedding. The Engagement Ring Pie was a meringue crust with English dates and walnuts, topped with blueberries and whipped cream.
For Joe and I the adventure starts the weekend before the competition. The weekend prior is the mass cleaning of our refrigerator and freezer and prepping of the kitchen. We have to make room for ingredients and convert our kitchen to a pie making machine. Monday or Tuesday before, the shipment of supplies and special ingredients is delivered to our house. This year BPG will be arriving on Tuesday and Joe will picking him up from the airport. Wednesday is grocery shopping for additional ingredients like eggs, butter, heavy cream, etc. Thursday, BPG does a practice round of baking; testing the recipes in a different climate and oven. My favorite part is the “Pie Party” on Thursday evening. For the “Pie Party” we invite over a couple of our closest friends (this is uber exclusive), have pizza pie for dinner and then taste test each of the pies BPG is entering. (Get it . . . “Pie Party” . . . pizza PIE . . . dessert PIE . . . okay I am better now.) After the tasting we provide our feedback and in years past this tasting has been a crucial step to BPG’s success, if we do say so ourselves!
This year our schedule is a little different over the weekend because BPG is only entering the Professional Division which presents on Sunday. BPG did arrange for the 3 of us (Bryan, Joe and I) to judge a category of pies in the Commercial Division which will be held on Friday. I am super excited to be judging. Joe is afraid that I am going to get carried away and act like I am a Top Chef Judge then he is going to have to remind me that I am not a Top Chef judge. There is a great likely-hood that it will happen, just a fact of life.
Back to the weekend, Saturday will be the big baking day in which BPG will make the pies he will be entering. Don’t worry I will be taking LOTS of pictures and share stories after the weekend. Finally Sunday is the big day. We get up bright and early, BPG puts some finishing touches on the pies, we load up the car and deliver them to the judges. Then the hardest part . . . we have to wait until the afternoon to find out the results.
What pies is he entering this year? You ask . . . I’d tell you but I’d have to kill you. I can tell you that he is entering 6 pies (oh that is a lot of flour, sugar and eggs all over my kitchen!) The exact names are still under lock and key until the weekend. Wish us luck!