Catching up with the 2018 Pie Contest winners

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After last year’s Pie Contest, Kate Sherry, Meg Craven, and Mike Craven visited “Good Food” with their winning pies. Photo by Nick Liao/KCRW

Happy Pi Day! We’re almost a month away from the 10th Annual KCRW Good Food Pie Contest.

On April 28, 2019, amateur bakers and professionals alike will compete side-by-side to garner the attention of the Good Food pie judges, a collection of LA's finest chefs and food writers. If you are a baker, you can still enter your pie here.

We caught up with a few people who won big last year, including Best in Show father-and-daughter duo Mike & Meg Craven, and Kate Sherry, who took home first prize in the Kids category. Read their slice-of-life updates below.

--Interview by Kenneth Ng. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Meg & Mike Craven: Chocolate Cream Pie with Toasted Meringue

 

After winning last year, what changed for you?

Not much changed, other than I got really good at making this pie because EVERYONE wanted to try it. Also, it has been officially renamed "Award Winning Chocolate Cream Pie with Toasted Meringue." And, my Dad and I aren't closer, because we've always been pretty close!

You won Best in Show and Best in Decor last year with your Chocolate Cream Pie with Toasted Meringue. Did you always know that was going to be the one?

We always knew this would be the one. I had made it quite a few times before, and it always got rave reviews. It was also aesthetically pleasing, which I knew would be helpful with judging and winning the contest.

Any advice for the bakers this year? What was your general pie strategy in 2018?

I would advise bakers to go with what they know, but keep in mind that the pie has to be out a lot longer than it might normally be when you are at home, and you have to make adjustments accordingly. For example, I had to alter the topping of my pie to make it more stable. Also, presentation matters! I think what made my pie stand out was not only the taste, but the fact that it looked nice and it was memorable.

Are you entering again this year? If so, what will you do differently?

TBD! We've talked about it, but haven't really landed on a pie that we feel strongly about entering into competition. If that changes in the next 6 weeks, you might see us there!

Lastly, favorite pie in LA?

Probably one of the three in my fridge right now. After all, it is pi day! Otherwise, coconut cream from Pie n Burger.


Kate Sherry: 
Apple Brown Sugar pie

 

After winning last year, what changed for you?

After last year, I wanted to keep baking pies. On Monday morning [after the contest], I begged my mom to skip school so I could bake.

You won 1st place in the Kids category last year with your Apple Brown Sugar pie. Did you always know that was going to be the one?

In the 2017 pie competition when there was no Kids category, I tried competing against the adults with the same Apple Brown Sugar pie. I did not win but my mom had told me that I could have won. Then [in 2018] when I was told there was a Kids category, I thought that if my Apple Brown Sugar almost beat adults it would probably win the kids competition.

Any advice for the bakers this year? What was your general pie strategy in 2018?

My pie strategy was to try my best and to have fun. You have to remember that you are not just there for the prizes, but prizes are good.

Are you entering again this year? If so, what will you do differently?

I am entering again, but I’m too old for the Kids competition. I’ll just keep entering the same pie. It’s a good pie.

Lastly, favorite pie in LA?

My favorite pie is my mom’s. She makes a lot of pie. To be honest I’d rather eat ice cream, but if it’s served with pie, I’ll eat them both.