A logging truck driver with a penchant for pastry is bringing his man-on-the-street approach to the judging panel of New Zealand’s Supreme Pie awards.
One of the judges at this year’s awards is Taupo truckie, 27-year-old, Brad Maxwell.
Mr Maxwell starts work at 2.00am and finishes in the late afternoon. A bit of a pie connoisseur, it’s how he stays fuelled.
"There's a lot of pies out there to eat. Especially at night when nothing else is open except the BP or Z or something like that. It's always a go-to choice to get you through the night," he says.
After winning a radio competition, Mr Maxwell has found himself as the sole amateur at the judging table of this year's New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards.
He's more than qualified to be giving out scores, whether it's steak and cheese or something more exotic, he believes one element is crucial.
"Making sure it's got a good seal. You don't want to be driving along and you've got mince dribbling out onto your knees, scalding hot cheese and stuff like that. Having to pull over when you shouldn't need to," he says.
Supreme Judge, Brent Kersel says having an amateur judge provides other judges with a new viewpoint.
"It give us a bit of perspective on what they're actually looking for out in the trade as well - so it's good to get some customer feedback," he says.
Celebrity Chef, Gareth Stewart, agrees.
"It's really important, they are buying your pies so if you're pleasing these guys you know you've got it right."