Jon Rosser who lives in Ruthin, Denbighshire, has been crowned Wales’ Bread Hero by the Tiptree World Bread Awards with Brook Food.
Jon has been baking bread for more than 50 years. During the coronavirus pandemic, his daughter requested his help with bread baking. Her friends soon wanted to join in the fun. With all this great interest, she suggested her father establish an online bread community, through which he could share his lifelong enthusiasm and knowledge for baking even wider.
Jon’s group, which is called BreadClub20, is aimed at both those who want to start baking and those who want to get back into it. Through the group, Jon offers advice and walk-through recipes on all types of bread, providing instruction on basic and advanced skills.
Jon spends lots of time researching the history of different types of bread, something he is equally passionate about, which he shares with the group too.
He has grown the community to more than a thousand subscribers from across the world, as far as Australia and the United States. He has a keen following close to home too as he sends all his bakes out to the local community for the all-important taste test!
Runner Up for Wales was Jennifer Burgos, Founder of ‘Dough and Daughters’ bakery school in Crickhowell. Jennifer, who learnt baking from her Danish grandmother, encouraged her daughters to bake from an early age; they were given dough to play with instead of play-doh.
Now Jennifer and her two daughters teach others the magic art of dough, continuing the family tradition. With the restrictions brought on by the pandemic, Jennifer and her daughters took their baking classes to Zoom. Helping people ‘bake together when you can’t be together’.
In normal times, the Tiptree World Bread Awards celebrate the bread; loaves from around the country would be delivered for assessment by a panel of esteemed judges. Building on the great success of last year, the Awards once again celebrated the UK’s Bread Heroes – the people behind the loaves: from farmers and millers, to bakers and educators.
Hundreds of nominations were sent in from across the UK. ‘All the nominees in this year’s Awards truly deserve recognition for their generous, considerate and often altruistic initiatives to help others.’ said Stephen Hallam, Chairman of the Judges.
13 regional winners were selected by the judging panel. In addition to the regional winners, there were a selection of special awards: Brook Food Dream Team Award, KitchenAid Home Baker Hero, Shipton Mill Real Bread Hero, Tiptree Outstanding Achievement Award, Wright’s Flour Award for Innovation, Zeelandia Award for Sustainability.
One of the judges, Britt Box, She Who Bakes, said, ‘It has been another strange year and it is so lovely to read stories of the bread heroes who have carried on, diversified, given back and risen to the challenge (pun intended!). They are all an absolute credit to their communities.’
An exhibition of portraits by photographer Henry Kenyon of the Bread Heroes will be touring the UK.