Our Judges

Amy North
British Baker

Amy is responsible for leading and developing all aspects of British Baker’s editorial coverage, from breaking online news to in-depth features and analyses. She has a decade of experience as a journalist, three years of which have been spent at British Baker. Casually known as the Duchess of Doughnuts, she also has a deep love of sourdough making the judging day for Britain’s Best Loaf one of her favourite days of the year.

Clare Barton
Owner/Head Baker
Bakehouse 124

Clare Barton is the owner and head baker of the Bakehouse at 124.

After studying an Advanced Diploma in Baking at the School of Artisan Food, Clare set up the Bakehouse in her hometown of Tonbridge, Kent in 2015.

Since opening, the business has grown from strength to strength winning an impressive award tally including Great Taste Awards, Tiptree World Bread Awards and most recently best Food and Drink Retailer by Kent Life Magazine.

Clare is one of only 21 Real Bread Campaign Ambassadors in the world and during “normal times” loves holding baking classes in her open plan bakery.

Dan Nemeth
Seasons Bakery

Originally from the lake district and now settled in the Dale's. Owner and baker at Seasons bakery and Seasons bakery Denton.

Winner of world bread awards, great taste awards, Britain's best loaf and Bread hero North West. I've been baking all my life and is my life passion. At Seasons we hand make every loaf, every pie and every cake making thousands of products a week. I have a massive drive to serve the very best.

I have been asked to judge at these awards now for a few years but only feel now I am truly ready to not compete as we are so busy so will love to see what's it’s like from the other side.

The most accomplished thing I have done to date is to serve my community and beyond what I could through the covid-19 pandemic, diversified and carried out work what we wouldn't normally do. Making sure we did all we could for our community. I am also in the process been recognised for this and won bread hero North West.

David Hall
London Bread & Cake Company

David hall is passionate about baking. He commenced his career as an industrial chemist at Pura Foods (the oils & fats refinery company) and throughout his 10-year career was General Manager and Manager of hydrogenation, bottling and canning, and planning. He was subsequently Managing Director of the bakery division of Northern Foods Plc, comprising Panificio ltaliano, La Baguette Doree, and Continental Bakery.

For 25 years, David was the Managing Director of The London Bread & Cake Co Ltd, which was London's largest independent wholesale bakery, manufacturing a range of 400 products on 365 days a year, and supplying them to nearly 1,000 customers within the South East of England. He is now devoting more time to helping others.

Amongst David's passions is collecting bakery books - over 300 of them - mainly concerning the technical aspects of baking. He is also keen to assist fellow bakers, students, and new bakery businesses and works with numerous other Associations with bakery tours, meetings, presentations, recruiting, new product development, and mentoring. David's aspirations include introducing youngsters and students with a similar passion & enthusiasm for baking to the BSB!

John Lognonné
Senior Baker
Davidsons of Darras Hall

Head of Production and Creative lead at Davidson of Darras Hall.

Katie Garrett
Fiona Cairns

Katie Garrett is an NPD technologist in the bakery industry after having graduated with a first-class honour from UCB in her Batchelor of Science degree in bakery and patisserie technology.

Katie has been successful in a variety of baking competitions herself, notably winning the BIA rising star award in 2020. She has also achieved success in a number of competitions with bread products as well as confectionery.

Katie-Joy Woods
Subject Matter Expert
Jacksons Bakery

Kate is a Bakery Technologist in the Baking and Cereal Processing Department at Campden BRI. She has worked in the catering industry for 9 years and has experience in patisserie, kitchen management, and research and development. Having graduated from the National Bakery School and receiving the Association of Baking Ingredient Manufacturers Award (ABIM) in 2014, she has gained experience working on government-funded and multi-company projects in both science and technology. She recently won The Customer Focus Award at the Baking Industry Awards 2017.

Keith Wooller
National Technical Support Manager
ADM Milling

I have worked in the baking industry for just over 50 years, both in the UK and internationally. My working life started in a small family craft bakery in Essex during which time I attended Bakery school and achieved my bakery/technical qualifications. Since then I have worked in both small and medium sized bakeries and also a few of the main ISB bakery groups as Bakery Manager. As my career progressed, I spent time working in the Middle East with a food group, which was very educational and interesting.

I am currently National Technical Support Manager for ADM and head up a team, who are mainly on the road, involved in NPD, recipe formulation trouble shooting and advise internally and externally with the customer base.

During my working career both freelance and as a humble baker, pâtissier, confectioner, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience during my travels working with an array of ethnic customers, products and processes.

Guess what? A main hobby, no surprise is baking & cooking, "being a general foodie", developing new recipes and ideas, along with DIY, walking the dog and being an avid supporter of my local football team Reading FC. I have judged numerous competitions over the years for The Soil Association and Master Baker Competitions. I developed the winning recipe and led the baking team which gained the "Field to Loaf" Guinness World Record 2016 - which I am very proud to say we still hold.

Kevan Roberts
Industry expert
Laura Sherwood
Bakery Technologist
Campden BRI

Laura is a Senior Bakery Technologist in the Ingredients Research Product Innovation Team at Campden BRI. She has worked in the Food Industry for 9 years. Laura has worked with many different sections of the food industry from retailers to suppliers and understands a wide variety of processes and procedures applicable to manufacture, sourcing, product suitability and development. Laura’s main area of work is in bakery new product development, and novel and innovative ingredient application, test baking and analysis. Other work includes research projects and teaching on bakery related science and technology training courses held at Campden BRI and offsite.

Lee Smith
Poppyseed Bakery

I started my bakery apprenticeship in 1984 at Saffron Patisserie in Eastbourne. I went on to work in many bakeries which included Head Baker at The Dorchester Hotel, Sally Clarkes Bakery and Victoria Park Plaza Hotel all in London.

In 2003 we opened our bakery in Bexhill on Sea, Bexhill Farm Kitchen. In 2018 we rebranded to Poppyseed Bakery and now have three shops a bakery unit from where we supply our shops as well as wholesale customers.

I have won Britain's Best Loaf four times and have been lucky enough to have been on the judging panel twice before.

Mike Holling
Sales & Marketing Director
Birds Bakery

Head of retail with Birds Bakery for 24 years, Mike is responsible for all aspects of the retail estate which encompasses 60 shops geographically covering the East Midlands. Bird’s bakery has a total workforce of 700 team members and all sales generated through their retail estate.

Mike became a board director of the National Association of Master Bakers in 2004 and held the position as Chairman for a five year period. In 2013, Holling took over the role as the Executive Director of the Craft Bakers Association (Formally the NAMB).

With over 40 years’ experience in the Craft Baking industry, Holling has worked on numerous key campaigns for the industry including the Pasty Tax and Craft Bakers Week. He is committed to actively promoting the craft baker at every opportunity.

Neil Woods
Baking Industry Expert

With over 55 fantastic years within the British bakery industry, beginning as a registered indentured apprentice, gaining all the relevant qualifications and more in the following years. Was an active member of the Bakery Students Union, now known as the A.B.S.T. To which I eventually became their President from 2013/2014.

Being a long-standing member of the B.C.A., B.S.B. and now President Elect of the C.B.A. I am active within the industry, being a great believer in craft skills I would like to think that I could influence the younger generation of bakers to take our wonderful industry forward, especially now with all that has happened, the baker has found solutions as it has done in past times and are to be applauded for their resourcefulness, let us hope that when normality resumes they will be rewarded by increased business.

Peter Cook
Peter Cook's Bread

Peter is founder, director and head baker at Peter Cooks Bread, a wholesale bakery in Herefordshire. They utilise the best of the region’s wonderful produce to bake Real Bread such as a Wild Hop & Barley Sourdough that won Britain’s Best Loaf on 2020.

Sara Autton
Technical Manager
Lesaffre UK & Ireland

I have been in the baking industry for over 40 years with experience in craft, in-store, plant and technical sectors; picking up my baking qualifications along the way at the National Bakery School in London.

During my time with Lesaffre I have had the opportunity to widen my knowledge to include breadmaking techniques from around the world, especially sourdough which is endlessly fascinating. Baking is an abiding and life-long passion that I take through into my leisure time by baking for friends and family.

I am honoured to be invited to judge this wonderful competition, sharing the task with such a diverse and distinguished panel. I am always excited to see the innovative ways in which bakers re-imagine the humble loaf which has been a staple food for thousands of years and look forward to seeing this year’s entries with great anticipation.