The shortlist for this year’s UK Baker of the Year has just been revealed

The judging panel for the annual Baking Industry Awards (BIA) has travelled the length and breadth of the nation to find bakery’s best businesses, products and people, and one talented local baker has caught the experts’ eye.

Aidan Monks, artisan baker and owner of micro bakery Lovingly Artisan and Bread & Fishes, both based at Altrincham Market, has been named as one of the final three bakers shortlisted in the Baker of the Year Award category.

Monks has been shortlisted alongside Paul Rhodes of Paul Rhodes Bakery in London, and Aidan Chapman of Flint Owl Bakery, Lewes. 

The winner will be revealed in what has been billed as ‘the biggest night in bakery’ during a black-tie awards dinner on the 5th September at the Hilton Park Lane, London.

Lovingly Artisan, whose tag line is ‘bread with Northern soul’, specialises in double fermented artisan sourdough using ancient grains, such as rye and Einkorn, sourced from specially selected organic farms. 

Their original bakery is based in Plumgarth’s Lakeland food park on the outskirts of Kendal in the Lake District, but they also run a retail unit at Altrincham Market. This proved to be so popular, Lovingly Artisan recently expanded into a brand new micro-bakery and stall, Bread & Fishes, serving their bread alongside street food fish dishes. The stall also supplies top quality sourdough loaves to many of the region’s top restaurants and cafes.

"It’s an incredible honour being shortlisted alongside the other finalists in the BIA’s” said Monks. “The awards provide a magnificent stage on which to acknowledging the skills and achievements of my whole team. Not only that, they provide the whole industry with the opportunity to celebrate the individuals and businesses who are at the forefront of the re-emergence of the UK’s artisan bakeries.’’

Now all Monks and his team have to do is make like a plait loaf and cross everything until the results are announced in September.