Itís business as usual says winning Waipu pie maker
BY ROB POOLEY
Waipu is noted for many things, most of them with a Scottish flavour, and the latest award is no different except it comes in the shape of a pie. The Logan MacLean Cafe has recently come to prominence through vegan food rather than Scottish roots.
Part owner, vegetarian and admitted untrained baker Tania Sumich has been building the vegan and vegetarian menu since taking over the cafe with husband Murray Lane in 2015. Confident she was creating a product worthy of closer scrutiny Tania took the bold step of entering two of her pies in the New Zealand Vegan Pie awards.
This is a nationwide competition with entries of over 60 different pies representing 17 different companies and seven categories. The result: Second runner-up with both entries. One, a vegan chicken pie based on the Scottish cock-a-leekie and the other a boutique number namely Rendang, consisting of Malay coconut, curry, lemongrass and ginger.
International judges Emmett Skilton and Brad Jacobs embarked on a blind taste test with overall assessment made for appearance, texture and flavour. While they do have some meat options in their cooked foods the couple restructured their business to include vegetarian options due to an obvious need and demand for more variety in non-meat foods.
Though Tania has kept her success fairly low key, many customers have heard the news and been most complimentary.
So where to from here? “Business as usual,” says Tania “but next year, staying with the Scottish theme, I’d like to table a vegan haggis and black pudding pie.” A tall order, maybe, but given her recent success, anything is possible.