My name is Billy Deakin, I won the inaugural World Pasty Championships last year and then successfully defended my title this year.

I've always had a passion for food, and have appeared on TV's Masterchef 2 years running. My recipes have appeared in a number of magazines, newspapers and web sites and I'm now writing a book about the Cornish Pasty and funding the publishing via a Kickstarter project. AMA.


Kickstarter project:

Web site:

EDIT: Wow, I was expecting 2 or 3 questions not this much interest! Thanks for all the questions and comments everyone, keep them coming I'll be here for a while...

Also, I should have mentioned originally that the World Pasty Championships are held each year at the Eden Project in association with the Cornish Pasty Association. Here are links to those 2 sites...

Edit 2: Thanks for all the interest guys. Questions and comments seem to have slowed down now, but I'll log in again later and answer any more. Thanks to everyone who has supported the book so far, and for the suggestions, and if you want to keep updated then like the Facebook page:

Comments: 381 • Responses: 79  • Date: 

rsong965299 karma

ohh, pasty is food. I thought you meant world champion of nipple coverings.

Dar267642 karma

Me too, what a shame

Saltypork30 karma

Me too. I totally feel like a boob right now.

psylentz20 karma

If we start a pun chain, it will go tits up pretty quickly.

pastychamp45 karma

I wonder who can come up with the breast pun?

Yeah, sorry to my American friends who got confused, I wasn't aware that you guys think a pasty is something very different to us ;)

Sloth-Lord53 karma

How do you cope with the constant media attention and lack of privacy that comes with the fame of being pasty world champion?

pastychamp14 karma

It's not been that much. After last year's competition I probably did about 10 interviews with radio and newspapers, then a few more when the "pasty tax scandal" hit the news. This year I did quite a bit running up to the competition so there was loads prerecorded which the TV, radio and press used after along with what was done on the day after the event. Now hopefully I can turn some of the media interest into some sales when the book launches!

sterling925s11 karma

What on earth is the "pasty tax scandal"?

HighSpeed55618 karma

Alright so am I the only one that read "world pasty champion" and thought this was an award winning stripper?

clarusdogcow12 karma


JalopyPilot10 karma

I really thought he meant to say "pastry" and was like, "Why does he keep making the same typo? Even in the URL!"

pastychamp7 karma

I just like confusing American's ;) Seriously though, I wasn't aware of the other meaning, quite funny though!!

jollyaussie16 karma

If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be (other than a pasty)?

pastychamp19 karma

Good question... The problem is, no matter how much you like a certain dish if you eat it often enough you get sick of it. When I was practicing for my first appearance on Masterchef I made chocolate fondant several times a week for several weeks, and though I love them I didn't want to eat one for months after!

Having said that, I'm a huge seafood fan so I guess I could probably eat a nice seafood platter (fruit de mer) many, many times before getting sick of it... or a really good roast lamb!

sortika6 karma

Do you have any personal tips for that really good roast lamb? I'm an ex-vegetarian, but I'm planning to cook lamb for the first time this Sunday... I don't even know what it tastes like, so I'm relying on recipes from others~

pastychamp19 karma

That's my favorite type of vegetarian ;)

Depends what joint of lamb you're using. For a classic leg, cook it on the bone and keep it rare - you want the meat to be nice and pink and juicy, and let it rest for a good amount of time before you carve it.

For a really tasty and reasonably cheap roast though, get some rolled shoulder and slow pot-roast it for several hours... it will just fall apart and taste amazing! You won't be able to carve it so it won't look as pretty on the plate, but the taste more than makes up for it!

And remember that lamb loves rosemary, thyme and garlic!

Oh, and it's not traditional but I like Yorkshire puddings with roast lamb ;)

Tjirp2 karma

If your an ex-vegetarian. Just buy meat, loads of meat. Eat it while you can still enjoy it, before going for the fancy stuff! I wish I could still enjoy a simple piece of chicken, by now im so fucked up I take hours before it tastes anywhere near as godly as it used to do.

sortika1 karma

I'm just afraid of giving myself deadly food poisoning, really. My boyfriend says that he's never seen someone enjoy simple food as much as I do - but I just really love beef, carrots, potatoes and onions, all plainly roasted/slow-cooked and on a plate together :3

pastychamp2 karma

Don't worry you won't... lamb is fine to cook rare, just buy good quality meat from a decent butcher!

When you roast a joint of meat, the outside (everything that was previously exposed to the air and potential bacteria) is brought up to a veyr high temperature, while the inside cooks more slowly. Since the inside has never been exposed to the air, then so long as it's quality meat which has been correctly stored, there should be no dangerous bacteria to kill and so it's safe to cook it to a lower temperature and serve it cold.

Only exceptions to this are if you're serving to someone with a lowered immune system (i.e. very young child, pregnant woman, someone recovering from an illness etc.) in which case you should avoid serving meats rare!

(Note this is for lamb, beef, venison etc. DOn't go undercooking chicken or turkey of else you will get sick!!)

mnyquist16 karma


I assume you're aware that pasties have also become a regional cultural touchstone in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and my question is two-parted.

Have you ever been to the UP/had a pasty from the UP? If so, how do they compare to pasties in the UK?

pastychamp9 karma

That's interesting actually, I was only chatting to someone about that earlier this week. No, I've never been so I can't comment. I did meet a pasty baker from Pennsylvania recently though (actually he was born in Cornwall but moved to the US about 30 years ago) and apparently they have become popular there now too.

I assume there is a strong mining tradition in that part of Michigan, and so the Cornish brought them with them when they went over for the mining?

mnyquist9 karma

Yep, there was a major mining boom staring in the 1840's (Iron and Copper primarily) which is the main reason anyone lives up here. What's pretty interesting (to me at least) is that many people here think that the pasty is actually Finnish, because after the Cornish came in to get the mines started, they brought in Finnish laborers to work them, and many of the Cornish moved on. I didn't know that pasties came from the UK until I was probably 18.

If you do ever come this way, get your pasties from Lehto's. It's a contentious issue, but I think they generally have a reputation for the best in the region.

pastychamp7 karma

Thanks for the info.

There's an old Cornish saying "Anywhere you find a hole, you'll find a cousin Jack" which basically says if there's a mine anywhere in the world, a Cornishman will be involved ;)

The Finnish do some good baking (my brother-in-law lives near Helsinki and they have these lovely little sweet rolls called pulla) but pasties most definitely come from Cornwall ;)

timmy2421 karma

Actually, we love pasties in Lower Michigan as well and a local store sells them frozen (Albie's Pasties). It's a pretty big state, but once you've had a pastie you're hooked for life. Here's my question to you: Would I have to work from your recipe, or is there a way I can try one of yours, barring going overseas?

pastychamp2 karma

Yeah sorry but I have no plans to start shipping my pasties overseas I'm afraid, but my recipes are easy to follow ;)

tbursar14 karma

I never thought I'd see the day a Cornishman was doing an AMA on Reddit. Awesome to see, I'll ask my question d'reckly my lover.
1. What's your favourite beach in Cornwall? 2. Also what do you think makes the Cornish Pasty stand out from all the other pretenders?

pastychamp12 karma

Glad I could be a pioneer... maybe Kernow King will do one next ;)

  1. Better say Porthemmet since there are lots of non-Cornish folk reading this! Seriously though, I'd probably say Trevellas (tiny cove in between St.Agnes and Perranporth). It's not much of a beach really, but I have so many fond memories of spending countless hours there as a kid!

  2. A good pasty is a meal. I mean, a pork pie is nice but after a few bites you need something with it... same with most other pies and pastries IMO. But a pasty is all you need, from the first bite to the last it's enjoyable and you never, ever get sick of them (of course I'm probably somewhat biased, but in all honesty i don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't love a good pasty!)

MrSouthWest10 karma

Do you believe that the pasty originated from Cornwall when in fact it originated across the border in Devon?

pastychamp15 karma

Uh oh, someone's trying to start a fight ;)

Seriously though it's an interesting question. I'm still doing research for the history part of the book so I;ve not drawn any definite conclusions yet, but from what I've found so far (and if you know otherwise please let me know I'd love to learn more) the only evidence that suggests the pasty was invented in Devon, is an audit book dated to around 1509 and then later in a written recipe in 1746.

The simple fact is though, go back a few hundred years and neither Cornwall or Devon were highly literate and recipes would have been past on by word of mouth rather than being written down. So a lack of written evidence is far from conclusive.

There are supposed to be cave paintings on the Lizard showing pasties which supposedly date back around 8000 years though. I've not seen them myself, but I'm hoping to go and see them and photograph them if possible for the book!

MrSouthWest3 karma

I knew it would spark some response! I knew about the audit fact but I didn't know about the cave paintings part. I am a massive pasty fan and although I am living in London for a year I often purchase one from the West Cornwall Pasty Company outlets. Obviously not home made or authentic but better than any other fast food on offer.

I guess we will never get to the bottom of where they have come from but it saddens me to see the lack of recognition Devon seems to get in all aspects of food and drink. Cider is often seen as a Somerset thing where I know for a fact that Devon and Cornwall ciders and beers would easily beat most of their Somerset counterparts.

pastychamp6 karma

Well I'm researching it at the moment and whatever info I find will end up in the book, and most likely online too so keep an eye out!

You're right though, it's the sort of history that can probably never be known for sure, but it's always interesting to research and find different opinions and interpretations!

AshRolls10 karma

Where is the best place to buy a pasty?

Personally I think the standard flaky pasty from the 'Horse & Jockey' bakery in Porthleven hits the spot, though I realise the flaky pastry is controversial!

Good luck with the kickstarter.

pastychamp11 karma

Not tried them, will have to give them a go!

I like Philps at Hayle, I like Aggie bakery sometimes (can be hit and miss), I don't mind Rowes for a mass produced pasty, though they recently shrank them (they reduced the size of all their pasties rather than put the price up)

I don't like Berrymans and I don't like Warrens, though Warrens picked up an award at this year's competition so maybe they've been improving so maybe worth a try.

I also hear Brian Etherington Meats do a good one but not tried them myself yet!

techwrecker6 karma

Personally I'm a massive fan of the Oggy Oggy Beef & Stilton pasty. Although this is somewhat controversial among my friends.

What are your thoughts on the recent EU rulings on the right to name a pasty "Cornish"? The local cornershop here in London sells poor, mass produced imitations of a pasty. Should I be bringing down the hammer of justice upon the heathens?

pastychamp12 karma

Oggy Oggy do make some good pasties, I;ve not tried the beef and stilton though I will have to give it a go!

The EU ruling waas a great decision IMO. It gives the Cornish pasty the same credibility as other heritage products like Stilton, Parma ham, and Champagne.

However, just because a pasty is made in Cornwall doesn't guarantee quality - Ginsters for example are a huge factory mass producing truly awful products but since they are based in Cornwall they can legally call their hideous products "Cornish pasties" though they are nothing of the sort!

Danny_Gray8 karma

Hey Billy, why did you choose the pen name Judith Stone?

pastychamp7 karma

I didn't want to use my own name at the time, since I'd been writing about other (non-food) subjects and didn't want to mix the 2. I decided that I wanted to use a female name since I'd be writing mostly about baking, and a slightly old fashioned name to give the impression the author was mature/experienced, and Stone is my wife's gran's name so that's what I went with!

JustinSteger8 karma

What inspired you to become a chef?

pastychamp15 karma

I'm not a chef. I did consider it as both my sister and cousin went into catering, but I went the techie route and i'm actually a games developer! So cooking has always just been a hobby/passion for me and I'm glad - I think if I'd have gone into catering as a career I'd have burnt out and have lost my passion - chefs work incredibly hard, and REALLY long hours!!

gottaa4 karma

What games have you made ?
Backed you on kickstarter now, and looking forward to eating a pasty while playing one of your games :)

pastychamp3 karma

Thanks for the support! Nothing very exciting I'm afraid, I mostly do promotional web games for top companies and films etc. Done some cool brands but they tend to be low budget promo games like these:

I'm getting into mobile games now though and planning on releasing my own first proper game later this year... watch this space ;)

HumphreysMcphee7 karma

Pasty's are the food of the gods. Seriously, so good. Questions:

  • Have you ever been to the US, particularly the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? They have a good pasty thing going on up there because of the historical mining. If you haven't been there, I suggest you check it out as a sort of cultural/professional excursion.

  • If you have, what is your opinion of the best pasty in Michigan?

  • Can you give me your recipe for a standard cornish pasty?

pastychamp6 karma

  1. No, but already discussed this elsewhere on the page if you can find it! My wife's cousin is actually getting married in Canada next year so if we do come over I may extend the trip a little and go on a food tour ;)

Well, my award winning recipe will obviously be in the book when it comes out you can grab a copy for just £4 on the Kickstarter page hint, hint ;)

But if you want a recipe right now, the one on the CPA site isn't a bad starting point:

iamnotahmed7 karma

Hello, my wife wishes to engage in some basic Pastry Making. We are traditional to Middle Eastern cooking. Can you have some basic suggestions for her. Many thanks, kind Mister Deakin.

pastychamp8 karma

There are many myths about pastry - that you need cold hands, or that you need a soft touch etc. To be honest, you just need a good solid recipe to begin with, good quality ingredients (don't buy cheap flour) and then be precise with your measuring and your techniques.

Measure your ingredients accurately, and never trust a recipe's amount of water - the exact amount of water you need will depend on so many things so add it slowly, and stop when the pastry feels right (which it why I always make pastry by hand, not in a processor)

Make sure you let it rest in the refrigerator before you try and roll it out, that gives the gluten time to develop and makes it much easier to handle.

Also, try using vegetable shortening instead of butter, you might find that easier to work with!

Other than that, it's just practice... good luck!

revolut1onname6 karma

What's your favourite cut of steak?

pastychamp6 karma

I like a steak to actually taste of something, so I would normally go for rump or rib eye. Fillet and sirloin just don't have enough flavour. And for me steak has to be rare (if a good vet can't bring it back then it's overdone!)

I'm also a huge fan of skirt, just so versatile and damn tasty! Skirt is the cut I use in my pasties too.

exilelexxii6 karma

What was in your opinion, the best dish/pasty/food you ever made, for yourself or for customers/jury

pastychamp8 karma

That's a tough question, I don't think I could pick one... There have been many memorable things I've cooked over the years though. I've done a number of wedding cakes, including my own, and they are always a challenge and very satisfying when they are finally complete! I'm quite proud of my chocolate fondant recipe now - took many, many attempts and lots of experimentation to get it consistently perfect every time, but people always love it! I also love trying go get simple things and old classics perfected - things as seemingly simple as a Yorkshire pudding, or a Bakewell tart - where the smallest details make a huge difference between good and great.... and of course, I'm pretty proud of my award winning pasty recipe. For that to beat all the other entrants 2 years in a row was amazing!

lethice5 karma

I'm curious if tanning would disallow you from running in the Pasty Championships.

Now for a real question: Do you have a favorite healthy pastry? Especially would be interested in healthier options/meal-in-a-pastry. Your Cornish Pastry book looks like a good place to start, so I'll kick in to that, too.

pastychamp7 karma


Well obviously, a pasty is always going to have a fair amount of fat and carbs due to the pastry. What you can always do though is a pasty pie (basically the same filling, but rather than folding and crimping you just place a layer of pastry over the top like a normal pie - half the pastry, and so a little healthier!

My pasty pie recipe was in The Guardian recently, here's the link:

(Note - the pic is NOT a pasty pie and it's confused some people, but they needed it quickly and I didn't have a picture to hand!)

I'm also developing some veggie options and a gluten free option for the book!

biscuitsarefodunking4 karma

Allright dude.

I see a big ol' crimp is traditional, but unless the pastry is AWSOME, then you pretty much left with dry pastry. What are you thought on crimping?

Also, can you be put on a box, and what is the best form of the moon?

pastychamp9 karma

I tend to keep my crimp fairly small, but I also try and get my pastry fairly tasty too. If you look at the 2 bottom photos on the Kickstarter page they show one of my pasties uncooked and then cooked, as you can see the crimp isn't massive. Traditionally the pastry would have been made with barley flour and quite hard with a big ol' crimp to hold it by since they were made to be eaten by miners and needed to hold together. These days, taste is more important as people don't tend to take them down a mine too often ;)

To make sure that the pastry tastes good on its own though, keep it short (so it crumbles nicely and isn't too hard) and season it well...

Box? If it's big enough! Moon? Cheese! ;)

seanm6242 karma

Just too make a small addition, the crimp was usually not eaten by the miners as they held the crust with their hands. Furthermore a traditional Cornish miners pasty used to contained half savory and half sweet with the sweet filling usually jam. Just wondering if you ever made something like this?

pastychamp9 karma

Yeah both of those points have been discussed elsewhere on the page. The whole idea of the crimp being thrown away though is quite posisbly myth to be honest, most historians say that the pasties would have been wrapped in cloth and the cloth used to handle the pasty when eating, meaning the hungry miner could eat the whole thing without getting dirt (and more importantly ,arsenic dust) on the crust. More than likely they did throw away the odd bit that got dirty from time to time which is the source of the stores, and of the old superstitions like throwing the last bit of crust down the mine for the "knockers" (pixies)

pector4 karma

What's your opinion on putting carrots in Cornish pastys?

pastychamp11 karma

Never, ever, ever! Carrots or peas in a Cornish pasty is a hanging offence, plain and simple ;) (as is serving one with chips and or/beans)

Nothing wrong with being creative, if you want to come up with a different filling that's fine - but then don't call it a Cornish pasty!!

AshRolls5 karma

I'm fairly sure I can answer this one for Mr Deakin. "HERESY!!! BURN THE WITCH!"

pastychamp2 karma

Good answer!

Iddqd19954 karma

My grandma told me once that pasties were created for men working in coal mines. So they could hold the tip of the pasty whilst eating then throw the dirty end away when they were done.

Makes sense if so. Thoughts?

pastychamp10 karma

You're grandma knows what she's talking about! Pasties were traditionally made by Bal maidens (bal is the old Cornish word for mine) for the miners to eat, though the Cornish miners were mining for tin and copper mostly, not coal. Holding the crimp and throwing it away would of course protect them from eating the dirt, and as they were often made with barley flour (which makes a rock hard crust) the crimp probably didn't taste too good back then anyway. Makes a lot of sense too since there is a lot of arsenic in Cornish mines (which of course is highly poisonous) so they wouldn't have wanted to be eating anything with arsenic dust on!

Iddqd19953 karma

Aw she's lovely my grandma. To be honest I can't remember if she said it was coal, maybe that's just what I pictured.

I love pasties. Dad does too. Local bakery has 4 different types. Plain, cheese, vegetarian and cornish.

Sometimes have a bit too much cabbagey like stuff though. They're no good after midday, unfortunately, but better than the pricks across the road. I don't care if you've got some 50 year old German yeast for your bread, your pies and sausage rolls are shithouse.

pastychamp7 karma

Grans always make the best pasties too... even after winning the championship the second time, my wife still says her gran's pasties are better than mine ;)

HumphreysMcphee2 karma

Also, there was the old tale that throwing the crimp down was an offering to the 'mine spirits'.

pastychamp2 karma

Yeah, often called the "knockers" or just piskies (weird Cornish spelling of pixies) - if you search though the comments we discussed it elsewhere on the page here...

HumphreysMcphee2 karma

I'll look for that. I asked a question up there too, you should answer it!

pastychamp2 karma

Will do, trying to keep on top of all the questions... ;)

darthpoopballs4 karma

My gf and I were really in to MasterChef US last year. It appeared that the contestants received a significant amount of training between episodes. Is that common on competitive cooking shows? Thanks for doing an AMA. I am a huge cooking nerd that would have gone to culinary school had it not been for family business obligations.

pastychamp4 karma

I've never watched the US version of the show so could be different. AFAIK even at the late stages of the competition, no actual training is given between shows but obviously what you see on the TV is a tiny glimpse of what happens (typically takes 2 days to film a 30 minute show) so the contestants are spending a long time in pro kitchens and picking up ideas and tips, then going home and reading/practicing etc. which then looks like are progressing in a few nights when in fact i's over many weeks!

lamarlandobanks4 karma

how do you keep those things on your nipples?

pastychamp6 karma

LOL - strong glue! I actually only discovered that the word pasty was also used for nipple tassels a few days ago ;)

busted_up_chiffarobe3 karma


They're a huge deal here in Montana, Cornish immigrants brought them with them to Butte to eat in the mines.

Carrots or no carrots? This leads to heated arguments!

pastychamp2 karma

There's no argument - no carrots, simple as that ;)

NinjaDiscoJesus3 karma

A pasty would probably be my last meal.

Damn cornish side of me.

pastychamp4 karma

Yeah mine too!

NinjaDiscoJesus5 karma

you keep it traditional though

what you like on the side

my dad always has beetroot and pickled onions

splash of worcester sauce too

pastychamp8 karma

Normally nothing on the side but really depends what mood I'm in. Pickled onions make sense as the acidity would work well with the pastry. I actually quite like HP (brown) sauce sometimes, which has a vaguely similar taste to Worcester sauce as they both contain tamarind and vinegar!

Definitely never, ever beans or chips though... serving beans and chips with a pasty should be a hanging offence!

NinjaDiscoJesus6 karma

I agree. I would shoot someone if I saw that. In the face. With my pasty.

Do you ever do the double pasty with the fruit filling one side?

I was thinking about doing it but having a wedge between the layers - not that I mind a bit of fruit if it was tart enough.

pastychamp7 karma

I'm working on a "double ender" for the book actually. I have a couple of different ideas for the concept and will be testing them over the coming weeks to see what works best! I think a pork and apple would work really well!

NinjaDiscoJesus3 karma

Hmmm interesting... I had a vague idea now that venison was in season to slow cook some in red wine, maybe some junipers and herbs or something...

Then to make a bitter fruit compote, maybe with some port, to go on one side

Be real gourmet like and if the fruit mixture came into the savoury section it could mix well - totally not traditional but I am a fancy dan at times.

pastychamp5 karma

Actually there are some very old traditional recipes which used venison so not as off the wall as it sounds... let me know if you try it, sounds 'ansum!


They're bleddy 'andsome they are. Bootiful

pastychamp4 karma

Good man, they bleddy are indeed meht ;)

AlyoChem3 karma

How real is Masterchef? As in, is anything done just to make it better TV/cause contestants issues to overcome?

pastychamp6 karma

It's pretty real, but the producers do certain things to increase the tension and make for a more interesting show. For example, the first thing they do is put all the contestants in a room together without introducing them and ask them to sit there and not say anything while they film... you expect it to last about 30 seconds and it goes on for ages, with everyone looking around nervously!

Then when you go into the studio you have to stand there, in front of the judges and a whole film crew in silence for quite a while while they do the same - it's all done to try and make you as nervous as possible!

It's a genuinely tough competition though, and the people that do well in it really do have to work hard. When I went back the second year we started at 4am doing a breakfast service in a London restaurant, then filmed all day, then did an evening service in another restaurant and didn't get to bed until well after midnight - then back in the studio early the next morning!

Lots of fun though, and I learned a ton from the experience, not least how tough it is to work in a top London kitchen! John and Greg, and the film crew were all genuinely nice too, but the highlight was meeting Anton Mosimann and working in his kitchen for a few hours - I'll never forget that!

AlyoChem5 karma

Thank to for the reply, I had heard stories of them fiddling with temperature settings to make things catch etc. glad it isn't the case.

pastychamp4 karma

Never saw anything like that, the production team are all very professional.

veryreasonablefellow3 karma

I've never seen you on that show, did you not make it anywhere in it?

pastychamp5 karma

I first entered in 2008. Got through to the live show, made it past the invention test and into the pro kitchen (we went to Anton Mosimann's restaurant which was amazing) and then did a 2 course menu back in the studio and got knocked out at that stage just before the quarter finals.

Next year they called me to invite me back to their "comeback week" for a second chance. Worked in 2 restaurants and then did a 3 course menu back at the studio and again got knocked out (annoyingly, the guy who went through then got knocked out in the ingredient recognition test and never got to even cook again) But hey, it was fun and I learned loads...

thomasbolton3 karma

Hey dude, I'm studying at falmouth university and was just wondering where i could get one of your pasties? i moved down here this year and have only just discovered their deliciousness!

pastychamp2 karma

Nowhere right now I'm afraid (but you can always grab a copy of my book and try making your own!)

But, I have been in discussion with a couple of companies about the possibility of producing pasties for sale... Not made any decisions yet, but keep and eye on my site or Twitter and I'll keep you updated!

KHWD2 karma

I'm from Redruth in Cornwall and I actually really dislike pasties. Being in the middle of the old mining towns and not liking pasties is almost a criminal offence apparently.

Do you have any pasty recipes that are different from your traditional steak that could make me a pasty convert?

pastychamp1 karma

Wow, I can honestly say you're the first Cornish person I've ever met who doesn't like pasties (or who admitted to it anyway!!)

Possibly, really depends on what you like. My Caribbean spiced oxtail and sweet potato pasty tastes awesome in my opinion though, the recipe for that will be in the book!

thefebs2 karma

I came here to make fun of you for misspelling "pastry" only to find out that there actually IS a World Pasty Champion. That being said, what do you think of Alton Brown's episode of Good Eats about pasties?

pastychamp1 karma

LOL ;) Never heard of him, or the show but thanks for the link I'll watch it later and let you know!

lostinco2 karma

So I've been studying abroad in Exeter for the semester, and pastys have been my absolute favorite food that I've found, particularly a flaky crust, steak pasty from a bakery called Shaul's here in town. Question: where does one by your world famous Pasty's?!

pastychamp2 karma

Not tried Shaul's but thanks for the suggestion, I'll add that to my ever growing list of places to try ;)

Good question... At the moment nowhere, though as of tomorrow there will be some new reward tiers added to the Kickstarter which will include actual pasties! So for now, if you really want one you'll have to wait for that, or for the book to come out and make your own. (or the third option - wait until next year's pasty championships and get invited along as a judge!!)

However, I have had several offers over the past few months about producing pasties for sale. I've turned them all down up to now, but it is something I've started to consider as a possible ventre for the future!

Nero9202 karma

So I've never heard of Pasties before. I also like to cook as a hobby and I love trying new things. Lets say I wanted to make a pasty tonight. Do you have suggestions for a simple pastey I can make myself for dinner?

pastychamp2 karma

Well you could try my pasty pie recipe from last month's Guardian if you want? Not a proper pasty, but a nice easy beginner recipe... then if you like it, think about pledging on Kickstarter to try my other recipes when my book comes out!

If you try it and you like it, drop me a shout on twitter @billydeakin and let me know what you think!

skyshadow422 karma

The stuffing in my pasties, particularly the meat, always comes out dry.

I've tried everything I can think of -- using different cuts of steak, cutting bigger cubes, even slipping butter in through the vents during cooking -- but by the time the pastry is ready the stuffing is dry.

Can you please offer any suggestions you might have? I've been working on this problem for ages without coming up with a solution and it kills me.

pastychamp2 karma

What cut of beef are you using? I use beef skirt (plate) which has a little marbling to keep it moist. Add a knob of butter (or even a dollop of clotted cream) before crimping, and make sure the crimp is well sealed.

Also how long are you baking and at what temperature? I normally do around 50 minutes at 180C (350F)

sbetschi122 karma

Do you have a really good recipe for a gluten free pastry?

pastychamp3 karma

Glad you asked, I'm currently working with the author of a soon to be released gluten-free cook book (Gluten-free Made Easy) about this and I can confirm that my book will include now a gluten free pasty recipe!

I'll be doing an update on the Kickstarter page about that (plus some veggie info and other bits and pieces) tomorrow actually so watch out for that!

OliverWDahl1 karma

What is your favorite kind of pastry to make? To eat? Is there a pastry that is easy enough to make that (most) of us here could pull it off ok?

pastychamp2 karma

Well I know it's the obvious answer but it has to be a traditional Cornish... having said that, I've eaten all sorts of non-traditional pasties over the years and many of them have been very tasty, and at the same time I"ve eaten some wich were supposed to be traditional Cornish which were far from tasty!

And yes, if you can follow a basic recipe then you should be able to do simple pastry, it's really not as hard as some people make out. I'll be including several different pastry recipes in the book, but for a really simple one try this one from my pasty pie recipe in last month's Guardian:

Pazzyboi1 karma

What is the strangest combination you have tried for a pasty filling?

pastychamp4 karma

Nothing too off the wall really for pasties. I've cooked with and eaten some strange/exotic ingredients in the past (ostrich, horse, conch, human placenta!, scorpion, squirrel...) but never for pasties. In fact I normally stick to a traditional filling, though recently I've been experimenting a bit with different combinations for the book. I've developed a really nice Caribbean spiced oxtail and sweet potato recipe which will probably go in there, and I'm currently working on some veggie options and a gluten-free version for people who are wheat intolerant!

crin2 karma


pastychamp2 karma

Liver. I made it into a paté and to be honest if you didn't know what it was you would think it was liver paté... The taste wasn't really the issue though, it was the look and feel of it which made it rather odd to work with... The hospital had to give is to me in a bright yellow bag with "Human biological waste - must be incinerated" written on it, which is rather off putting (just to be clear, the hospital didn't just give me a random placenta - it was my sisters, and she asked me to do it!) Was interesting to try though.

masters11251 karma

Did someone say pasty champion? I've waited my whole life for this...

A wild ginger appears!

pastychamp2 karma

Hello! ;)

samusye1 karma

Have you ever been tempted to have people address you as "The Master Chef" all the time?

pastychamp3 karma

No ;)

edaddyo1 karma

My wife is a huge pasty fan (we're American), and gets one every time we're in London. If I want to knock her socks off when we cross the pond in September, where is the best place to get a pasty? (other than outside any tube station)

pastychamp3 karma

You'll need to come to down Cornwall for that I'm afraid, you can't get a proper pasty in London!

You could always try knocking her socks off my baking my award winning pasty recipe yourself though? ;)

wiscbiker1 karma

Moving from an area in the US where pasties are common to one where I doubt I'll be able to find one so thank you for linking to you pasty website with the simple recipe. Any chance you could throw up a recipe for a "proper pasty"?

pastychamp2 karma

Well, obviously my award winning pasty recipe will be in the book (and you can preorder a copy on Kickstarter with a pledge of just £4 - hint, hint!!) but if you want something quick and easy right now, you could try my pasty pie recipe which was in The Guardian last month. Not a proper pasty, but easy to make and might satisfy your craving...

Nilmag1 karma

I got hungry just looking at that title. Do you deliver?

pastychamp3 karma

No, but I do bacon ;) Seriously, not at the moment. There are some new reward tiers being added to the Kickstarter projet tomorrow though that will include freshly baked pasties if you're interested!


what is a piece of (non-food) advice you learned/were taught early on that had a major impact on your life?

pastychamp2 karma

Don't tread on lego with no shoes on!

tchiseen1 karma

Come to the USA and get famous, so I can get a bloody pasty here. My fathers' side is from Cornwall (near Saltash) and I have a real honest love for pasties and Cornwall. Good luck with your book!

pastychamp2 karma

You could always try making your own? ;)

redyambox1 karma

Is your cooking/kitchen skills all self taught out of interest in food?

pastychamp2 karma

Yes, pretty much. I learned to cook from my mother and grandmother from a very early age, then started devouring cookbooks and watching shows like Keith Floyd and just progressed from there.

DJMitch1171 karma

What do you think of Ginsters pasties?

pastychamp2 karma

Ginsters don't make pasties IMHO!

The thing is, Ginsters produce a product that sells and they are a big employer in the country etc. so you can't know them too much. But... to me, their products taste like crap, but then they aren't trying to make a nice pasty, they are making a cheap and nasty, mass produced, packet food for people to grab as a snack when they put petrol in the car. Not the sort of thing I like (but then I won't eat MacDonalds or KFC etc either) but lots of people do like them...

The problem is, people buy Ginsters "original Cornish pasty" and think that's what Cornish pasty it, but it's nothing like a real pasty. It's like comparing a can of Tesco value lager with a pint of real ale, they are 2 totally different things.

I have tried them in the past, and if people want to buy them then I can't really knock then but I can safely say that nothing from Ginsters will ever pass my lips again!

dugup461 karma

Using 100 duck size horses' meat or 1 horse size duck's meat, what is the first dish(es) that would come to mind?

pastychamp3 karma

A carpaccio of sweet duck sized horse meat, sounds delicious ;)

jackmeeker1 karma

What's your favorite kind of muffin?

pastychamp3 karma

Coffee and walnut! Mmmmmm...

AkinDENCHwa1 karma

What do you prefer, Masterchef or the great British bake off?

pastychamp1 karma

I like both actually, though TBH I think Masterchef has branched out a bit too far in recent years with the pro version, and the celebrity version etc.

I do like Paul Hollywood's receipes, his bread book is fantastic, and of course Mary Berry is a Bristish treasure though TBH I don't like her versions of a lot of classic British recipes.

AkinDENCHwa1 karma

What are your opinions on soggy bottoms?

pastychamp2 karma

Should be avoided at all costs - bottoms should be nice and firm ;)

Limiate1 karma

What type of doughnuts do you like to eat? Also, do you have a recipe you could share to make an amazing cheese danish?

pastychamp1 karma

Not a big doughnut fan to be honest, and never made a cheese Danish either I'm afraid so can't help you there!

ironHobo1 karma

Are you aware of the American definition of the word, "pasty?" Your title confused me for a minute.

pastychamp2 karma

I wasn't until very recently ;)

thepurpletank1 karma

What's the secret ingredient?

pastychamp3 karma

That's normally the second question I get asked when someone finds out I'm a pasty champion (the first is usually "making them, or eating them?")

The problem of course is that there isn’t one “secret”, it’s more subtle than that. The difference between a good pasty, and a great pasty lies in the minutea; in the texture of the pastry and the way in crumbles in your mouth, in the neatness of the crimp, in the quality of the ingredients and in the seasoning. A great pasty needs balance - the pasty needs to be firm enough not to fall apart when you pick it up, but should crumble nicely when you take a bite. The filling needs to be moist and juicy, yet not cause the case to go soggy. It needs to be well seasoned, with plenty of pepper, yet it shouldn’t taste too salty or let the pepper taste take over (though my wife might argue that it’s not technically possible for a pasty too be too peppery!)

GazzyG1 karma

Hey Pastychamp!

I'm coming down to Cornwall for a holiday next week. Will be stopping in Padstow, Newquay and Newlyn. Can you name somewhere in any of those three towns that you would recommend for a great pasty that me and the wife can try?


pastychamp3 karma

Definitely the Chough bakery in Padstow!

And don't go to Newquay, 'tis a terrible place ;)

GazzyG1 karma

Cheers bud! And we Pengellys are Cornish ourselves, we know to stay away from Newquay usually, but the wife's insisting on going to the zoo and sealife centre, haha!

pastychamp2 karma

Ah, with a proper Cornish name like that I'll let you off then (and I like the zoo too ;)

KHWD2 karma

Just chiming in to say my family is from Newlyn and they are big fans of Auntie May's pasties.

Newlyn's a tiny place, it'll be easy to find!

pastychamp3 karma

Thanks, I just added Auntie May's in Newlyn to my list of pasties to try! This list is getting pretty long, maybe I should add a pasty directory to my site for people to vote on!

DreyaNova1 karma

I work at a farmer's market in Canada that sells British snacks, kinda like Greggs but less yummy. How do you deal with people calling a pasty a "pastey" and (particularly Americans) saying shit like "Ohhhh my lam look at those pays-tees, what is a pays-tee?, what is in it?, ohhhh that doesn't sound good at all does it?, do you have any chocolate ones? Any banana and peanut butter ones?" ....... without murdering said people?

pastychamp2 karma

We don't, but we're running out of places to hide the bodies ;)

FordPrefectsThumb1 karma

I thought Pasty Presto won worlds best pasty, HAVE THEY LIED TO ME?

also, hello from falmouth.

pastychamp2 karma

Pasty Presto won the company award! I won the amateur award (both years). Here are the full 2013 results: