New Zealand’s second annual Vegan Pie Awards are set to kick-off, with a range of pie makers putting their best free-from offering forward. More than 17 companies have submitted over 65 pies from around the country, bringing in a range of unique flavour combinations.

The judging panel this year is comprised of Gerrard O’Keefe from Hector’s Restaurant and the Heritage Hotels, Emmett Skilton, vegan actor and Shortland Street director, Brad Jacobs, co-director of The Coffee Club, and special guest, Megan May, founder of the Unbakery. The judges will be blind taste testing pies throughout a range of categories, finding overall winners for a vegan steak and vegan cheese pie, a vegan mince and vegan cheese pie, a vegan chicken pie, a vegetable pie, café boutique pie, gluten-free pie and a fruit pie. There will also be one supreme winner.

“Plant-based pies are proving to be more and more popular as people cut down on their intake of animal products,” said Amanda Sorrenson, Vegan Society national coordinator.