A baker from Rutland has risen to the very top to be crowned Baker of the Year at a national industry awards ceremony.
Julian Carter, head baker of Hambleton Bakery, scooped the award in front of more than 800 guests at the Baking Industry Awards 2013, which were held at the Hilton, in Park Lane, London.
Julian is a 10th-generation baker who spent his summer holidays working in his family’s bakery in Liverpool from the age of 14.
During his career Julian has served in the RAF and worked at 10 Downing Street, during John Major’s time as Prime Minister.
He now lives in Nene Crescent, Oakham, with his wife Tracey, and their two children James, 15, and Samantha, 13.
Julian impressed the judges during a visit to the Oakham branch of the bakery with his range of barm breads, sourdoughs, ryes, and pastries, tarts and cakes with ingredients that are sourced locally.
He was thrilled with the award and said it was a lifetime achievement.
Julian, 50, said: “It’s a bit surreal really.
“There were three other finalists up on the stage at what’s known as the Oscars of the baking world and to hear my name called out was a bit of a shock.
“But I was so excited and it really is a lifetime achievement for me.”
Two other bakers in the county have reason to celebrate having been recognised nationally.
Johannah Randall of Johannah’s Pattiserie, in Northgate, Oakham, and Tanya De La Porte, from Chocolate Lace, in Langham Lane, Burley, are in the final of the National Cupcake Championships, for their cake creations.
The pair are set to battle it out against 40 other professional bakers for the title of National Cupcake Champion, which will be presented by baker and BBC Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry.
Both bakeries only opened in the past year and Johannah and Tanya were delighted at the recognition.
Johannah said: “It’s been an amazing year and I’m really excited to be recognised.”
Tanya said: “I’m very chuffed and really really pleased to be in the final.”
The bakers will learn their fate at the awards final at the NEC in Birmingham on November 9.