You could say that every week is pie week in Wigan, but we thought we'd use the official "British Pie Week 2021" to get in touch with one of Wigan's newest culinary businesses - Baldy's Pies.
If you keep up with the Wigan food scene, you will no doubt have already heard of Alex Melling and Chris Vernazza's new venture. Their chef's signature pies have caught the attention of thousands and have proven extremely popular with locals.
Both of you have worked in restaurants all over the world (including Michelin-starred Lancashire restaurant Northcote). How has the first couple of months since launching Baldy’s Pies gone?
Chris has worked in various Michelin restaurants over the UK also including the hand & flowers, Tom Kerridge (the only 2 Michelin starred pub in the world) & I’ve worked in Spain & Australia in some amazing restaurants. It’s definitely different from what we are used to. We’re 8 weeks in now & business is growing each week with new customers all the time (and our regulars). We genuinely thought we’d be selling 20 pies a night, so it’s taken us by surprise how well Wigan’s taken to Baldy's.
Us Wiganers are known for our "enthusiastic pie-eating". What would you say to someone who usually sticks to a standard meat and potato?
If you give us a call, we are more than happy to have a chat, find out what you like eating and recommend the best suited pie. We are all about big bold flavours so whatever we do is going to be a tasty pie.
Your pies look fantastic and certainly bring the Wigan pie scene up to another level – in your opinion, what do you bring to the table that Wigan's various bakery chains don’t?
The difference with our product to various other chain bakeries is that we are not bakers, we’re chefs. So our signature ‘chef’ pies are completely different to anyone else’s around.
If you could only eat one type of pie for the rest of the year, which one would it be?
Definitely the original big Jim’s braised shin of beef. It was actually created from a dish me & Chris had come up with for a restaurant and my dads favourite pie was also beef. So it’s a close one to my heart & will always be my favourite.
You're currently working from the kitchen at The Crown at Worthington, however, with the Prime Minister's recent announcement about plans towards returning to ‘normality’, where do you hope to be in 12 months’ time?
We already have a new venue for when lockdown comes to an end. It will be announced at a later date...
Happy British Pie Week! What's on your menu this week and how can people order?
There will be something special on our menu for sure! Just need to keep an eye on our page.