The results are in and Mountain High Pie bakers Mike Fuller and Jake Larment could not be happier.
Their famous pies from Wentworth Falls have taken on 1500 pastry entries from across Australia to take out several top gongs in the Great Aussie Pie Competition smashing their previous records.
The four-day pie judging competition is the largest nationally recognised competition and Mountain High pies won 12 awards, including five gold medals.
"We were the only bakery in NSW that took out a major award," said Mr Fuller.
The pie makers won Australia's best chicken pie for their flavour bomb peri peri chicken and mango salsa pie. The same pie took out the silver award for the overall gourmet section. They also won Australia's overall best brekkie pie. Their 500 gram brekkie pie has a mix of sausage, home-made baked beans, chorizo and bacon topped with mashed potato and a poached egg in Hollandaise sauce. It also won the breakfast category in 2015 and was inspired by roadworkers working on the Great Western Highway who kept asking for bacon and eggs.
The awards are run annually by the Australian Pie Council and judged by 16 experts from the National Bakery Industry of Australia. Entrants send four samples of each pie by courier or hand deliver them. Pastry thickness is one of the categories for judging a winning pie, as well as the flavour and texture of the filling.
The two Mountain High Pie bakers hand delivered their warm pies and knew they were in for a good chance.
"We knew it was a good sign [with the chicken pie]," said Mr Fuller. "The judges have poker faces, we can't read them, but one thing that gave me high hopes was when the leading judge looked at our chicken pie, took out his mobile to take a photo, and then called the other judges over," he added.
The seasonal peri peri chicken pie was only served as a Father's Day special but will be back on the menu from Thursday September 26 until Christmas. Their previous award winner - the brekkie pie - sold four to six pies a day before winning the gourmet pie category and afterwards skyrocketed to 80-100 pies a day.
"We hired a new apprentice to make them," Mr Larment said.
Manager of the competition, Danielle Lindsay, who hails from East Blaxland, said pies come from all over the country - as far afield as Goondiwindi in Queensland and Denmark in Western Australia.
"Mountain High Pies made some exceptional pies for the competition and our judges were very impressed," she said.
The aim of the competition is to have a national platform for quality pie improvement, product innovation and skill enhancement. The competition was held at Fine Food Australia, Sydney International Convention Centre from September 9-12.
Other Mountains High Pies to win the golden gong were the pepper steak, the vegetarian chilli con corn and the braised beef with a bite.
Mr Fuller said since opening 13 years ago they have adapted where needed and now offer "a whole wall menu" full of vegetarian/vegan/gluten free pies. He credits their success to being "consistent" and his boss Damian Smith recognising early on the importance for his staff to learn the customer's names and their coffee and/or pie preferences.
The store is open from 6am to 4pm, seven days a week and has 50 pie varieties. They renovated in the past three years and have expanded the store seating from 60 to 120 seats.