From the vine to the oven, California raisins are the star of the baking competition that is looking to recognize professional and up-and-coming bakers across the country. The California Raisin Marketing Board's (CRMB) sixth annual America's Best Raisin Bread Contest is now accepting entries, and all industry professionals and student bakers are encouraged to enter their most "raisin-spirational" masterpieces in one or all of the three categories of the competition: Artisan, Commercial and Breakfast.
- Bakers and research and development staff of commercial baking companies
- Craft bakers and retail shop owners/managers
- Certified baking teachers
- Students in accredited baking programs
- Bakery technicians at bakery supply wholesalers, flour milling companies and other allied bakery ingredient suppliers
- Participants must be 18 years and older
Entries will be accepted through May 31, 2013 for students and July 1, 2013 for professionals. Contest application, rules and additional details are available at www.loveyourraisins.com. The contest features the following categories in two divisions, professional and student:
- Best wholesale/commercial raisin bread
- Best artisan raisin bread
- Best breakfast item
Preliminary contest judging will take place in August, in which 36 finalists will be selected to receive a complimentary trip to the International Baking Industry Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 6-9, 2013, where they will bake their formulas before a panel of distinguished judges from both the artisan and commercial baking industries.
A total of 12 winners – nine in the professional division and three in student division – will be selected. Winners will be selected based on their formula's taste, appearance, originality and value. Formulas that feature 100 percent whole grains and/or gluten-free ingredients will also be awarded in each division. In addition to industry-wide recognition, the 12 winning bakers will receive a five-day California educational vacation with visits to the Culinary Institute of America, Yosemite National Park and the San Joaquin Valley – home of the California Raisins.
To qualify, submitted formulas should be for raisin bread and raisin bakery products currently available in the market or planned for sale in the future. Applications must be submitted along with color photos of the cut cross section and whole finished loaf Raisin breads, and at a minimum, must include 50 percent of raisin content to dry flour weight while other raisin bakery products must include a minimum of 25 percent raisins to dry flour weight. California Raisin content may include California Natural (Sun-Dried) Seedless Raisins, California Golden Seedless Raisins, other California Raisins, California Raisin Paste and/or California Raisin Juice Concentrate.
You can submit your application online at www.loveyourraisins.com or download and mail a physical form to:
California Raisin Marketing Board
Attn: Dori Rothweiler
2445 Capitol Street, Suite 200
Fresno, CA 93721
Previous America's Best Raisin Bread Contest winners have received numerous accolades on the national and international levels, including World Cup of Baking in France and appearances on the Food Network's "Cake Challenges" and "Cupcake Wars."