1 June 2021

Paul West rolls up his sleeves for Sapphire Coast's pie month

| Hannah Sparks
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Paul West

Sapphire Coast’s self-appointed Pie Minister, Paul West, enjoying ‘The Pambula Pierdro’ at Wild Rye’s in Pambula. Photo: Lauren Griffiths.

Get your napkins ready! It’s time to celebrate the humble pie!

And for the first time, Pie Time is branching out beyond the Southern Highlands to include Bungendore, Pambula, Braidwood, Bermagui, Merimbula and Kiama.

Given a meat pie has become a road trip must-have, pie makers and bakers throughout the region have been busy creating unique and mouth-watering pies to tempt visitors throughout June.

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Pies such as the ‘Beer and Steer’ from Eat Drink Neighbourhood in Bermagui, The Pambula Pierdro from Wild Rye’s Baking Co in Pambula, The Wharfie from the Wharf Restaurant in Merimbula and the Beef Bourguignon from Harvest Fresh in Bungendore will be available from today – National Pie Day – and for the rest of the month.

Even Paul West from River Cottage has rolled up his sleeves for the celebrations. And he’s gone so far as to appoint himself the Sapphire Coast ‘Pie Minister’.

He said the experience has made him rethink the ‘humble’ pie.

“I think pies get a bad wrap. Like sausages at the butcher shop, you can have pies that are just mixed bags of odds and ends, or you can have pies that are thoughtful. The difference between a cheap pie and a pie that someone’s created and put effort into is chalk and cheese. Who wouldn’t be after chunks of beautiful, slow-cooked meat and flaky, buttery pastry?” asks Paul.

Paul says pie lovers won’t be disappointed with what’s on offer on the Sapphire Coast this month, but that choosing a favourite is like choosing a favourite child – you can’t have just one.

“I liked the freshness and the Spanish flavours of Wild Rye’s pie; I loved that Matty at Neighbourhood used offal and the guys at the Wharf had a completely different take with no pastry at all, it was like a shepherd’s pie with beautiful white fish and muscles. There’s something for everyone in there,” says Paul.

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And if someone has to be Pie Minister in future years, Paul says he’ll raise his hand again and again.

“I think it’s a very prestigious position, and with it comes a very healthy Commonwealth pension of pies for the rest of your life. It’s a tough job, but someone must go out there to do it, and I’m going to be the one,” says Paul.

Beer and Steer Pie

Eat Drink Neighbourhood Bermagui’s ‘Beer and Steer’ pie. Photo: Lauren Griffiths.

Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing’s managing director Anthony Osborne says it’s exciting to bring Pie Time further south.

“Pie Time is such a fantastic initiative that Destination Southern Highlands started back in 2017. People will travel for a good pie, and so the Sapphire Coast jumped at the chance to be involved, showcasing our amazing pie offerings from around the region, including Pambula, Bermagui and Merimbula. Together with other regions of NSW, we all can’t wait to raise a pie on Australia’s National Pie Day,” says Anthony.

For more information, visit Pie Time or follow their Facebook page.

Australians sharing their pies for Pie Time and Australia’s National Pie Day can hashtag #pietime #visitsouthernhighlands.

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