Tauranga pie maker Patrick Lam wins Bakels NZ supreme award with duck pie

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Patrick Lam is the country’s most awarded pie maker. Photo / NZME

Bay of Plenty baker Patrick Lam, of Patrick’s Pies Gold Star Bakery, has reigned supreme again as a champion piemaker – but this year with something a bit different.

Lam, who has stores in Tauranga and Rotorua, was crowned pie king for the eighth time at the 25th Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards in Auckland tonight.

Bakels NZ said Lam surprised the judges with a “perfect Roast Duck, Onion and Mushroom entry in the Gourmet Meat category.”

In a statement, Bakels NZ said that during judging on July 27, celebrity chef judge Al Brown started a ripple of conversation, saying: ‘I’ve just seen a duck pie and it looks pretty amazing’.


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Judging for the 25th Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards.  Photo / Supplied
Judging for the 25th Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards. Photo / Supplied

“It just kept going all the way to the supreme category judging where the judges commented on the ‘flying duck’ decoration on the top of the pie.

Bakels said comments included: ‘‘The duck is so moist and all the ingredients combine in perfect balance’’, ‘‘So good!’’ and ‘‘They’ve nailed it, beautiful pastry, great flavour.”

NZ Bakels managing director Brent Kersel said each time Lam had won there had been different judges.

“It just goes to show that if you present a stunning pie that ticks all the boxes and outshines every other pie, the judges are going to choose it.


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“This year I’d have to say was one of the toughest years we’ve seen in the judging because there were so many superb pies to the point that it was too close to call a category winner in several of the categories and they were re-judged. It was that close.”

Kersel said the standard of pie-making was the highest the competition had experienced.

The 2023 supreme pie award was Patrick Lam's Roast Duck, Onion and Mushroom creation.  Photo / Supplied
The 2023 supreme pie award was Patrick Lam’s Roast Duck, Onion and Mushroom creation. Photo / Supplied

“And to Patrick, your hard work and passion to be the winner in our 25th year is an outstanding achievement. You deserve the glory. Your duck pie was exceptional, as were your chicken and vegetable and vegetarian category gold winners.”

Lam was unavailable for comment about his win before publication but previously told the Bay of Plenty Times the secret to an award-winning pie came down to “a good pastry and a good filling”.

In an interview shortly after his 2018 win, Lam spoke of how he was forced to flee Cambodia with his family when he was 5.

They lived in a refugee camp in Vietnam until he was 19.

In 1989, Lam and his family of six fled to Sydney. Eight years later, they moved to Auckland and Lam started his lunch bar in Avondale.

There, Lam’s love of pies was born.

Lam has owned shops in Tauranga and Rotorua and has regularly featured in the awards since winning his first supreme best pie title in 2003 for a mince and cheese entry.

Patrick Lam’s 2023 Supreme Pie Award winners:


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Gourmet Meat – Roast Duck, Onion and Mushrooms – SUPREME/GOLD AWARD

Vegetarian – Stir Fry Vegetables – GOLD AWARD

Chicken and Vegetable – GOLD AWARD

Steak and Gravy – SILVER AWARD

Pat Lam’s supreme winning pies

2019 – Mince and cheese


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2018 – Roast pork, mushroom and cheese

2016 – Bacon and egg

2010 – Bacon and egg

2009 – Creamy bacon, mushroom and cheese

2004 – Mince and cheese

2003 – Mince and cheese


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