I am excited to be a pie judge at the APC Crisco® National Pie Championships® coming up April 23-25 at the Omni Championsgate in Orlando, Florida. Below is an interview with American Pie Council Executive Director Linda Hoskins about the event.
Gina: What does the American Pie Council (APC) do and how long has it been around?
Linda: It promotes year-round enjoyment and consumption of pie. It’s been around since 1983.
Gina: How long have you been executive director of the organization? What sort of background did you have to qualify for the post?
Linda: I’ve been executive director since 1999. My background is not really a baking background, but rather a fundraising, event planning background. Although I’ve now become somewhat of a baker and I really love it.
Gina: How many entries do you anticipate for the APC Crisco® National Pie Championships® this year?
Linda: Including commercial, amateur, professional, and junior chefs, I anticipate around 850 entries.
Gina: How many pie judges will there be?
Linda: Right now we have 188 judges.
Gina: Are there any celebrity judges?
Linda: Not yet!
Gina: What will I be judging?
Linda: You’ll find out on Friday. We actually don’t figure any of that out until we have all of the entries.
Gina: Do you have any tips for pie judging?
Linda: Don’t eat too much of one pie, even if you love it, they’ll be plenty more that you love!!
Gina: Is there a proper way to taste pie?
Linda: We like to taste the entire experience on the first taste, a little crust, topping and filling, then we go on to critique the components individually.
Gina: How many people do you anticipate will attend the Great American Pie Festival?
Gina: What sort of things and activities will one find at the festival?
Linda: Pie making, pie eating, pie decorating, pie making demonstrations, lots of kids activities, and more pie eating.
Gina: What is the oddest pie you’ve made, seen, or heard about?
Linda: Avocado pie, Vidallia onion pie, watermelon pie.
Gina: Why do you think pie matters today?
Linda: Not only is it yummy, and makes people feel good, it’s about the traditions handed down from generation to generation.