‘OSCAR’ FOR BAKER: Mum shows she knows her onions by winning baking award
A LOCAL mum who founded her own bakery to solve her son’s food allergy problems, has won a major prize at the Baking Industry Awards 2015 – the industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.
Valeria Mizuno-Turner – director of the Incredible Bakery Company at Moorfield Farm, Brigstock, near Kettering – beat off stiff competition from the upper crust of the British baking industry to capture the Free-From Bakery Product of the Year Award with her ‘Incredible Onion Panini’.
Her achievements were recognised earlier this month in front of more than 800 industry guests at a gala awards ceremony at London’s Park Lane Hilton. She was presented with the award by television presenter and star of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Claudia Winkleman, together with Alan MacDougall, regional sales manager UK & Ireland of the award’s sponsor, Ingredion.
Valeria first discovered that her son, Leon, suffered from multiple food allergies eight years ago and this inspired her to start her own bakery and create delicious food he could eat. It led to the development of a range of breads, rolls, cakes and dry products, including her prize-winning panini.
She said: “We strive to create products with equivalent taste, moistness, appearance and nutritional qualities as conventional products and we avoid all 14 common food allergens, so everything is suitable for coeliacs and vegans.
“We wanted something with flavour. It’s low in saturated fat and high in fibre. The ingredients include onions, white and brown rice flour, chickpea flour, rice bran and potato and tapioca starches. Everything is freshly-baked with a shelf-life of five to ten days ambient, or three months frozen.”
Now in its 28th year, the annual Baking Industry Awards are the premier event in the UK bakery calendar and have been recognising industry excellence since 1987.
Martyn Leek, editor of British Baker magazine, said: “Our finalists have spent a lifetime honing their trade. We are here to reward them for their hard work, their persistence and their skills. The people in this room represent the very best in bakery.”
Pictured above – BEST IN BAKERY: Award sponsor representative Alan MacDougall, Valeria Mizuno-Turner (centre) and TV’s Claudia Winkleman at the ceremony in London.