Ladies and gentlemen, start your ovens: It's pie time. KCRW’S Good Food Pie Contest is returning for its sixth year, on Sunday, Oct. 5, from 2-4 p.m. This year, the pie fest moves to UCLA's Fowler Museum, and is adding two new pie categories: Cooked Custard and World Pie (inspired by the Fowler's permanent collection).
The Pie Contest, of course, is hosted by L.A.'s queen of pie and longtime host of Good Food, the lovely and talented Evan Kleiman. The two new categories, by the way, join the five previous categories we've all come to know and love, including Fruit, Nut, Savory, Cream/Chiffon/Silk and Vegan. The deadline to enter the contest, which is free and open to everybody, is Sunday, Sept. 28 at 11:55 p.m. That's less than two weeks away, so maybe write that down now — preferably in Sharpie on your oven door.
When we asked Kleiman for a pithy comment, because of course we would, she had this to say:
Sometimes I think people are sick of hearing me say any sentence that has the word Pie in it. But if you substitute that word that connotes a delicious flaky pastry with Community, then maybe you can understand why I love pie so much. Sure, the sweet round thing itself is easy to eat, easy to love, but even more important to me is how it brings people together. That's what the pie contest is all about for me. It takes a virtual community created through radio waves and the internet and for one day reveals us as flesh and blood people enjoying one another and the day.
A community of pie indeed. Last year's contest was the biggest of those so far, with a whopping 347 pies entered.
Professional bakers and home cooks alike are invited to participate, which requires registration and a $10 entrance fee per pie. (Bakers need to bake two pies for each entry, one for the judges and one for the public.)
Non-bakers can attend the contest for free and enjoy a slice — a pretty sweet deal, as it were, if you think about it. You also, of course, get to watch all the judges stuff themselves with pie, which can be pretty funny (see the above shot of chef David LeFevre). In addition to pie, there will be food trucks, an artisan marketplace and KCRW DJ Anne Litt spinning tunes. The Fowler’s galleries will be open for the occasion, with family-friendly activities planned.
As you consider the type of pie you'll be bringing, check out this year's list of judges. Nothing like a little pastry inspiration, is there. Happy baking!
2014 PIE CONTEST JUDGES
Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Food Critic, LA Times
Sherry Yard, iPic and Helms Bakery
Sang Yoon, Fathers Office, Lukshon
David LeFevre, M.B. Post and Fishing with Dynamite
Christine Moore, Little Flower Candy Company and Cafe
Nicole Rucker, Gjelina Take Away
Russ Parsons, LA Times
Jonathan Graham, Compartes Chocolatier Gourmet Chocolate
Meadow Ramsey, Sqirl
Lincoln Carson, Superba Food & Bread
Annie Miler, Clementine
Zoe Nathan, Huckleberry, Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry, Milo & Olive, Sweet Rose Creamery
Akasha Richmond, Akasha Restaurant
Clemence Gosset, Gourmandise
Christina Oulfson, AOC, Tavern, Lucques
Rose Lawrence, Red Bread
Tal Ronen, Crossroads
Carol Cotner Thompson, New School of Cooking
Valerie Gordon, Valerie Confections, Valerie Grand Central Market, and Valerie Echo Park
Hourie Sahakian, La Brea Bakery
Na Young, Proof
Dave Lieberman, OC Weekly
Sarah Lange, Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores and Field Trip
Robert Wemischner, Pastry Instructor LA Trade Tech College
Aarti Sequeira, Host and author of Aarti Party
Jo Stougaard, My Last Bite