Source: The Australian, Wednesday, 23 July, 1997, p.5


Connoisseur floats on dream pie quest win

By LEISA SCOTT 
 
   FRANK Goldstein has a dream. That 
one day, every Australian family will 
sit down once a week and tuck into a 
meat pie, some mushy peas, mashed 
potato and sauce. He prefers black 
sauce, but he's flexible on that. 
 
   Of course, he'd like all the pies to 
come from Goldstein's Bakery on the 
Gold Coast-the newly crowned 1997 
Great Aussie Meat Pie competition 
winner-but remember, it is a dream. 
 
   But Mr Goldstein estimates his 
output of 43,000 pies a week will 
quadruple once news of his champion 
title gets out. 
 
   "This puts the meat pie under the 
microscope for the Australian public," 
said a very proud Mr Goldstein 
yesterday. 
 
   And so it does. For five days, 10 
judges have been prodding and 
nibbling their way through about 600 
pies from all over Australia, searching 
for that pie with the right weight 
(between 180 and 225gms), a flakey 
top, an "ungluggy" base, a tasty but 
not too runny, not too solid, filling 
and an enticing aroma. 
 
   "AU in all, that whole pie should 
look like, 'Mmmm, I want to eat that'," 
says John Ross, the national co- 
ordinator of the GAMP competition 
and a committed pie lover. 
 
   Of course, there are definite no-nos. 
Two lots of gristle and you're out and 
any sign of tubing (industry speak for 
offal) and it's immediate dismissal no 
second chance. 
 
   Raise the delicate issue of a few stray 
rats' legs or tails and Mr Ross grows 
mockingly defensive. "Never heard of 
them," he says. 
 
   In fact, it was the growing 
denigration of the pie which led Mr 
Ross and his partner Craig Perry (both 
from the baking industry) to strike 
upon the idea of a competition while 
eating one of the "much maligned 
Aussie meat pies" nine years ago. 
 
   It was time to instil a bit of pride 
back into the meat pie, they thought, 
and embarked on creating the comp- 
etition to promote excellence. Now, he 
says: "Every person you talk to knows 
their favourite pie shop and they will 
tell you that that shop makes the best 
meat pies in Australia." 
 
   Mr Ross believes pie consumption 
was on a decline prior to the GAMP 
competition but is now on the 
increase, with 29.9 million pies eaten 
in 1995, according to the Australian 
Meat and Livestock Foundation. 
 
   Mr Ross has found that the type of 
pie you prefer may depend on where 
you live. 
 
   "Queenslanders mainly like chunky 
pies, Victoria is a bit of chunk, a bit of 
mince, in Sydney or NSW you get the 
mince, not so much the chunk, other 
parts of Australia you get a graduation 
between chunk and mince," Mr Ross 
says. 
 
   And in its study, the AMLF has found 
that steak and mushroom is a favourite 
in Queensland and NSW, Victorians 
like steak and onion, while the 
Tasmanians go for the steak and 
kidney. If you're a bloke, you'll eat 
more than twice as many as women. 
 
   Mr Ross says gourmet pies are 
growing in popularity, with three 
times as many entered in their different 
categories this year as when introduced 
three years ago. 
 
   Everything from buffalo to goat to 
pumpkin made its way in the 
competition this year and Mr Ross is 
now working on his own dream of a 
gourmet competition split into five 
categories - pork, chicken, fish, 
game, and miscellaneous. 
 
   "Wouldn't that be great?" asks the 
misty-eyed pie man.


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