How much pie can you eat in two hours? Find out tonight at Pies for Perennial, a competitive pie-baking competition hosted from 6 to 8 p.m. at Perennial (3762 South Broadway, 314-832-2288), a St. Louis-based nonprofit community workshop and store.
The competition is directed at home bakers, who pay just $10 to enter their pie into the competition to be judged by a panel of experts. Attendees can expect to sample at least twenty different options — possibly more, depending on late registrants — along with local craft beer. The event is part of Perennial's Lost + F(o)und fall fundraiser, its biggest of the year, and all proceeds of Pies for Perennial will benefit the nonprofit.
"When we first got [Lost + F(o)und] started, it was country fair themed, and so there was this element of everyone bringing a pie, and that was the dessert," says Katie Carpenter, executive director of Perennial. "Now that we've grown, Lost + F(o)und isn't country fair themed anymore, but we still hold onto the pie because everyone loves it. So now we've broken it out into its own event."
This year judges include Stefani Pollack of Cupcake Project and chef Chloe Yates, also known around town as the Pin-Up Chef, who now runs the Frankly Sausages food truck with chef Ben McArthur. Carpenter says that the judges will be using a simple formula for evaluating each slice: presentation, innovation and flavor profile, flavor and a general effort category. Carpenter says that the entries usually vary widely, with home bakers submitting both classic and creative pies.
"We usually have a pretty big variety — everything from custard pies to fruit pies to savory pies," Carpenter says. "Last year, the winner was a very traditional and delicious pecan pie, but one of the others was a duck pot pie — so a big variety there."
The top three favorites will be announced at the end of the night, and the first-place winner will be featured as the best pie in St. Louis at Lost + F(o)und on October 12 at Mad Art Gallery.
In addition to the pie competition and Lost + F(o)und fundraiser, Perennial will also host its next clothing swap (hosted every other month) at its store on October 6 and its next monthly craft club at Old Bakery Beer Co. on October 28. Funds from both events also support Perennial's work.
"For folks who are new to Perennial, we offer DIY classes to teach people creative ways to turn discarded items in to cherished resources," Carpenter says. "Perennial offers classes in woodworking, sewing, home repair, garden, paper arts and private events to transform materials that might otherwise be thrown away and encourage people to live sustainably and creatively. Last year we kept nearly 10,000 pounds [of items] out of the landfill."
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