Marian Huber makes the tastiest pie and Cheryl Irvine is right next to her in terms of taste, crust quality, texture and presentation.
That was the ruling of a panel of two distinguished and one not-so-distinguished judges in the St. Joseph's Hospital second annual Top Pie contest last week.
Seven pies, constructed by St. Joseph's employees, reached the final taste test on Thursday afternoon in the foyer of the hospital.
When all the testing and tasting was completed, Huber's lemon meringue offering stood just a point or two above Irvine's pumpkin strudel pie. Irvine's oats and honey granola pie captured third prize.
The judges, Audrey Loustel of the St. Joseph's Auxiliary, and Don Kindopp, chairman of the hospital's board of directors, were joined by rogue, loose cannon judge Norm Park of The Mercury.
After the tasting was completed and the judges' marks tallied, it was discovered that Huber's well presented lemon meringue was a clear winner on two of the judging scoresheets and ranked a strong second on the other, while Irvine's pumpkin strudel made it to the top of the pie pile on one judge's scoresheet and second or third on the other two.
After the ribbons were placed on the pies, it was noted that Huber was not available to accept her first place prize, but Irvine was present to accept her two ribbons.
One honourable mention went to the St. Joe's laboratory team for their “invisible” entry, simply listed as “Our Pi” a reference to the mathematical insignia which was presented on an empty plate.
Their entry was voted as the one with most originality although sadly lacking in substance, texture and taste.
Both Kindopp and Park expressed their disappointment that they were only offered teeny, tiny pieces of pie to taste and hoped that the remaining pieces from each of the worthy entries would be consumed by diners who could appreciate the fine tastes of life, while Loustel simply sighed that she was happy to be relieved of this pressure packed selection duty.
St. Joe's executive director Greg Hoffort, who was seen lurking in the background, later refused comment on the quality of the judges as well as the pies and expressed his disappointment at not being selected for the elite role of pie-tasting judge.
“His credentials just weren't there, and there is a lot that goes into proper pie tasting,” Park said, as he rolled his tongue around his cheek. “He just hasn't put enough into his training. Maybe next year.”