Home of Economy, Grand Forks Herald begin search for community's best pie-makers

The Herald began advertising the event earlier this week, soliciting entrants. Those who are interested should send an email to or call the Herald office at 701-780-1103.

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GRAND FORKS — The community’s best pie-makers are being sought for an event later this summer.

The Greater Grand Forks Pie Bake-off, sponsored by Home of Economy and the Grand Forks Herald, will pit 16 bakers in a tournament that’s set to begin Aug. 22. The idea, according to Herald Publisher Korrie Wenzel, is to create an interesting, fun and talk-about community event that’s a new take on the old pie-baking contests at places like county fairs and church socials.

“The emphasis of this event is ‘fun,’” Wenzel said. “Not only do we want to find the best pie-bakers, but we also want to highlight them in the weeks leading up to the event, learn more about them and — especially — create something that will be interesting for the rest of the community to follow.”

The Herald began advertising the event earlier this week, soliciting entrants. Those who are interested should send an email to or call the Herald office at 701-780-1103. A short bio of the entrants — explaining experience, a longtime interest in baking, etc. — is requested, although it’s not necessary. Third-party nominations are welcome, too.

The Herald will choose the 16 bakers from the pool of entrants. In August, they will be placed in a bracketed tournament and compete head-to-head against other bakers.


The 16 will be cut by half in each round until two remain. Each entrant will make at least one pie. Pies will be due on Monday mornings throughout the tournament.

The winning baker will choose between a $500 gift card, courtesy of Home of Economy, or a Country View Woodworking pie safe, worth $1,400, also courtesy of Home of Economy. Home of Economy also will provide $25 gift cards for each pie that the contestants bake, to cover the cost of ingredients.

A small panel will blindly judge the pies, determining the winner in each head-to-head competition. Judges will include Lane Leech, head chef at Harry's Steakhouse, and Kristen Whitney, executive chef at the North Dakota Museum of Art Cafe.

Wenzel said the judging will be done by scorecard, and no critical reviews or comments will be published.

All 16 bakers will be assigned a business sponsor. At present, there are 12, including Walls Pharmacy, Hugo’s, Hope Church, Altru Health System, Harry’s Steakhouse, Ground Round, the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce, Toasted Frog, Alerus, North Dakota Mill and Elevator, Valley Senior Living and Bremer Bank.

Rubber scrapers will be provided to each entrant, courtesy of North Dakota Mill and Elevator.

Related Topics: GFH PIES
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