Dunog's Tristan Beisler has been named 'Baking Apprentice of the Year' at the LA Judge competition in Sydney.
Tristan represented NSW in the annual national event, vying against competitors from other states and New Zealand.
It was a tight contest with less than 1.5 points out of a total of 100 separating Tristan from his closest two rivals at the end of the three-day competition.
Tristan was officially crowned the winner at a gala ceremony in Sydney last night, (Thursday, May 16) presented by AEGIC and Woolworths.
As part of his prize, Tristan will receive a five-day all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium to visit the headquarters of the compeition sponsor, eminent baking and ingredients company, Puratos. Tristan will have the opportunity to take part in bakery demonstrations, tour Puratos' famed sourdough library and visit its various museums and facilities.
Tristan, who studies Certificate III in Retail Baking (Combined) at Hamilton TAFE works at Barrington Bakery.
The bakery is run by his father, Simon Beisler, who owns a number of baking enterprises across Newcastle and the Hunter.
This year's LA Judge theme was 'Your Business', so as part of his efforts Tristan created a quasi bakery shopfront crafted through inspiration from the Barrington Bakery bread bag logo and design.
On Friday morning Tristan said he couldn't believe his win.
"I'm incredibly humbled and thankful for all the support I've received," he said.
"It was great to see and meet industry people from all walks of life last night, who came together to recognise the award.
"I'm incredibly chuffed to get it.
"I'm super excited about spending time with Puratos overseas, seeing their sourdough library and research facilities.
"People who have done that in previous years told me about how amazing the experience is."
Tristan's TAFE NSW Hamilton baking teacher Dean Tilden said Tristan was a humble young man who has worked extremely hard and deserved the win.
"With any pursuit, hard work, practice, quality training and education plus support networks can result in great success ' he said.
"Tristan has put in a lot of effort to get where he is and now has a big reward to show for it.
"It is wonderful to see Tristan follow in the Beisler family's footsteps with his high-quality baking skills and commitment to industry excellence.
"When the win was announced his dad came up on stage straight away and gave him a hug.
"It was beautiful to see such family pride.
"Tristan's success is a great demonstration of the valuable training TAFE NSW provides and a big credit to all his hard work and perseverance.
"At the beginning of his Certificate III in Retail Baking apprenticeship Tristan had a lot to learn but has realised his potential through much practice.
"As teachers, we can give students the tools and guidance, share our expertise and help form their skills; but what it comes down to is what they do with all that. Any TAFE NSW student can become a national champion."
Tristan's dad Simon said, "I'm the proudest dad in Australia."
The LA Judge Award has been running since 1967 and is open to young apprentice bakers under the age of 23.
The competition held over three days and includes all aspects of baking, including practical baking skills, technical knowledge and presentation abilities.