19 | Dec | 12

Richard Johnson

Call To Auction

After 72 hours of bid, bid, bidding, this year’s Mince Pie Project has finally come to an end — raising £29,147.29 for charity. The online pie auction (in batches of 50, made by 100 of the UK’s best chefs) saw some festively fierce competition for the position of prime pie. But victory was taken by Daniel Doherty, the Head Chef at Duck and Waffle. His gingerbread mince pies with orange frosting raised an impressive £1,900, though Martin Wishart, owner of Martin Wishart restaurant in Edinburgh, was close behind. He raised £1,825 with his light pastry and exotic spice pies. Third place was claimed by Mark Pynton from Alimentum with his hay smoked mince pies, stuffed with truffle and apple mince meat, that raised a sumptious £1,750. I was surprised that my favourites — the insanely good pies from Nobu, which had a yuzu mincemeat inside the black sesame pastry (above) — didn’t top the wish list. They had a Zen calm all of their own. Other chefs that failed to make the top three included Michel Roux Jr., Simon Rogan, Raymond Blanc, and our very own James ‘Jocky’ Petrie, Head of Creative Development at The Experimental Kitchen for The Fat Duck and veteran of the 2011 Chili Standoff. Jocky raised £1,240, with his ‘Meat Mince Pies’, even though he threw in an offer to go to the winning bidder’s house to cook them. A promise rather than a threat, apparently…