Our Judges

Here is our judging panel for Britain's Best Loaf 2023.

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.

Andrew Layte
Technical Sales Manager

I have been working in the food industry for the last 30 years of which I have been baking for the last 24 years, with experience from in-store bakeries to industrial plant bakeries - Achieving bakery and technical qualifications along the way.

I have developed a wide range of products for all the major retailers and the food service sector, fresh and frozen bakery products, of which some of these have won awards like the Grocery awards and Good food and wine awards. I have a great understanding of a wide variety of processes within the baking industry, especially on industrial plant bakeries as I have worked for a major supplier in the baking industry leading process and NPD roles.

Beginning of 2022 I have now joined Lesaffre as a Technical Sales manager, which offers me further opportunities to widen my knowledge even more. I feel honoured to be invited to judge this wonderful competition.

Claire Powell
Technical Baker
BAKO Group Ltd

Claire Powell, Technical Baker for BAKO Group Ltd, is responsible for developing new and innovative products for the BAKO Select range as well as product quality testing at the company’s development bakery in Preston. She provides support and training, visiting various customers across the UK, delivering onsite product demonstrations and additional training sessions to support to the company’s regional sales and telesales teams. She has in total over 30 years’ experience in the baking industry, including 20 years as Applications Baker for Scottish food service company Macphie.

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.

Gareth Edwards
Commercial Manager

Gareth’s enthusiasm and extensive experience in the industry began at Cardiff Bakery College. Throughout his early career he worked in artisan bakeries and multiple retailers across the UK before joining ADM.

Gareth has held several sales roles at ADM spanning a 27 year career to date. Today he is responsible for the Bakery Division, and collaborates with his Technical and Marketing colleagues to develop and take new ideas to market. He believes success comes from a good team prepared to go the extra mile with quality ingredients.

Katie-Joy Woods
Technical Innovation Team
Jacksons Bakery

Katie works within the Technical Innovation team at Jacksons bakery, specialising in flour technology and managing new innovation projects.

Laura Sherwood
Senior Bakery Technologist
Campden BRI

I’m a Senior Bakery Technologist in the Product Innovation Team at Campden BRI and have worked in the Food Industry for a little over 10 years.

As part of my role at Campden BRI, I work alongside many food industry businesses big or small to help in problem-solving, new product development, trials and bakery science and technology training.

Lee Smith
Poppyseed Bakery

I have been baking since 1984 working in many different aspects of the bakery trade.

In 2003 we bought Bexhill Farm Kitchen. In 2017 we renamed our bakery Poppyseed Bakery and now have 3 shops as well as supply 136 wholesale customers.

I have been the overall winner of Britain’s best loaf on four occasions and have won nine categories in total.

This is my fourth time judging this competition.

Neil Woods
Baking Industry Expert

With over 57 fantastic years within the British bakery industry, beginning at 15 as a probationary apprentice and there after as a registered indentured apprentice, within the Associated British Foods Group, this being a 5 years apprenticeship, gaining all the relevant qualifications and more in the following years, leading to various junior management positions. I was really lucky to be awarded a student scholarship to attend a bakery course in the Innsbruck School Baking which I believe was a contributing factor to how my future career in baking would advance.

2021 was a fantastic year for me to remember as I was awarded the British Baker Outstanding Contribution to the Bakery Industry Award, this for me was the pinnacle acheivement of my bakery career, I was so honoured but also humbled....

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 in the last two years, as always the baker has found solutions as it has done in past times and are to be applauded for their resourcefulness, let us hope that now, as some normality resumes they will be rewarded by increased business…...

Peter Doughty-Cook
Peter Cooks Bread

Peter Cook is the current BIA Baker of the Year, and his eponymous bakery is one of British Baker magazines “Artisan Collective”; the best 13 Artisan Bakeries in the UK. He is also Slow Food UK’s Baker of the Year for the past three years, and a passionate advocate of Real Bread.

Simon Lawton-Hayes
Brook Food

Simon has almost 30 years’ experience within the baking industry, with key experience in the ingredients, product development and the in-store bakery sector. His technical approach allows for a great understanding in end user production requirements at various scales.

Tim Goodwin
The Street Bakeshop

Tim Goodwin was born and raised in South Africa before he came to the UK in 2002.

Always a passion for food, he started a catering business in Basingstoke in 2004. In 2020, Tim took on an old Bakery in Old Basing.

He decided to use the new space to not only run his growing catering business, but follow his passion and start an Artisan Bakery and Coffeeshop.

In 2021, Tim Goodwin was awarded Baker of the Year in the Baking Industry Awards. A year later The Street Bakeshop won BIA Craft Bakery Business of the Year 2022 BIA Team of the Year 2022. Tim’s Country Sourdough won Gold in the 2022 UK World Bread Awards.

Today, The Street Bakeshop is a thriving Wholesale and Retail Bakery and Coffeeshop, specialising in slow fermented bread, pastries, handmade cakes and sausage rolls.

William Leet
Bakery Development Technician
David Wood Baking (BBL 2021 Rising Star)

I started my baking Journey at Leicester College before going on to further my studies at UCB during which I won the Presidents Cup at the ABST twice in a row and travelled to Holland to carry out a summer Internship with Tromp Bakery Equipment amongst other internships.

On completion of Uni I went to Norway to complete a internship at the famous Nordic Bakeriet I Lom where I ended up living and staying for 2 years working as an Artisan Baker and Supervisor specialising in craft breads, sourdoughs and pastry’s. I then moved back to the UK and was handed the opportunity of my dream job as a Development Baker for David Wood Baking Ltd where is specialise in Italian Breads and Sourdoughs amongst all other delicious baked good. Since my time here at David Wood I have guest lectured a few times back at UCB, been a guest speaker for the ABST and my biggest achievement of winning The Rising Star Award at 2021 BIA.

2022 will also be a promising year where I will be speaking at the British Society of Baking Spring Conference, judging competitions at the ABST and guest lecturing once again at UCB.