NT baker aims to roll world’s best in Europe 

David Barker 

A talented Territory baker is taking on the world's best after being selected by Leading Edge Bakery & Food Service Journal to be part of Team Bakery Australia in an international baking competition in Italy next year.

Charles Darwin University Bakery Lecturer David Barker was selected along with three other bakers from around the nation to represent Australia at the SIGEP Bread Cup 2009, which is conducted during one of the world's largest professional trade fairs dedicated to bakery, confectionary and gelato products.

David's big break came back in 2007 when he won over the judges with his own Rosella Sour Dough bread and was awarded second place at the Australian Artisan Baking Cup "La Coupe Down Under" held during the Melbourne Food Expo.

Industry judges were impressed with his skills and asked him to join Australia's team in next year's event which includes live bake-offs in front of a large audience. The trade show has over 95000 people pass through the event over the shows five days.

Ten countries are competing in the four-day event in January 2009 which will include traditional baking, cakes and pastries, all made within strict time limits and with defined ingredients.

David, who is based in the city of Palmerston, said he looked forward to refining his skills in a country where "food is everything".

"The skills I'll be exposed to over there should be brilliant and I can't wait to enrich the classroom," he said.

And David expects strong competition from the Italians who have already asked for his recipes before the event.

"The Italians can certainly see what we are doing which will make our challenge that much harder but we are excited about this trip," he said.

Team Bakery Australia will visit bakeries and major manufacturing facilities during a trip around Italy before the event and have been invited to the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie world pastry competition in Lyon, France to ascertain the possiblity of future Australian participation.

CDU Palmerston campus administrator Aretha Amos said David's trip was strongly supported by the campus and the wider community.

"David is a highly respected lecturer on campus and we wish him the very best in Europe," she said.

With few Italian language skills, David is confident in getting his message across through his baking.

"Once people taste my food, they'll know what I'm talking about," he said.