Lesley Foottit reports from the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees’ (ABST’s) annual conference 2014, which saw the AGM, prizes awarded and plenty of opportunities for students to network with industry professionals.The AGMThe Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees (ABST) celebrated its 84th annual conference at Alton Towers over the weekend as it welcomed new members and planned more international representation.Newcastle College, Cooplands trainees and Reaseheath College in Cheshire joined the organisation this year, with numbers up 15% year-on-year. Members now comprise 305 students and trainees across 16 training providers, compared with 219 from 13 providers in 2013.Outgoing president Ian Dobbie passed the chains to president elect Neil Woods, who will take the seat for the coming year, while Zeelandia managing director David Amos is the new president elect.A year-long strategic review has started to “check the organisation is going in the right direction”. Almost 300 members gathered at Alton Towers to spend the weekend among peers.Dobbie said: “We now have wider representation of colleges and I have thoroughly enjoyed my very worthwhile experience as president. I am pleased to see ABST working more closely with the Craft Bakers’ Association – organisations work better when joined up together.”International reachGeneral secretary for the ABST Matthew May said: “I think an international influence will always be a good thing, because the students can learn from others. I want the students to meet people in the industry and gain an impartial view to make decisions about where they want to go in their careers. This is the only real opportunity for industry and students to meet and build relationships.Award winnersCompetition entries were up by more than 200 year-on-year, with 30 judges on hand to pick the winners from more than 3,000 entered products. Four live competitions ran across four categories: royal icing; bread modelling; marzipan modelling; and cookies. In total, 27 awards were given out including in a new sourdough category.The Founders Cup team award was won by University College Birmingham (UCB), the Horton trophy went to Harry Barber of UCB and the President’s Cup went to Michael Denton of newcomer member Cooplands.As the winner, Denton will help make rolls to be served at the Baking Industry Awards 2014 at the Park Lane Hilton, London in September. See below for all the winners and click here for details of the runners-up.The winners: The Bakery Trainee Challenge TrophyMica Cook, Blackpool & the Fylde CollegeThe Horton TrophyHarry Barber, UCBThe Founders Cup – team competitionDecorated Battenburg – Danielle Brennan, UCBScones – Rohima MalikPuff pastry – Harry BarberBloomer – Nathan HarrisonOther Section WinnersDecorated Battenburg – Matthew Griffith, NPTCScones – Emily Woodhouse, NPTCThe President’s Cup – Combined ClassMichael Denton, CooplandsThe Novice’s Cup – Combined ClassHarry Barber, UCBBest Swiss Roll Harry Barber, UCBBest Bread William Bowen, UCBThe Blandy CupElizabeth Parkinson, NPTCThe Celebration Cupcake ChallengeKieron Murphy, LeedsThe Renshaw Decorative Class – Regal-ice Birthday CakeJustine Talbot, BrooklandsCarved Novelty Cake Class (Frank Webster Trophy)Kayleigh Holden, Blackpool & the Fylde CollegeThe Goldex Cup – Floral Sugar CraftCarlene Bagot, BrooklandsThe Devon Rose Bowl – Lightly fruited cakeCaroline Crudden, DITCallebaut ChocolatesRebecca Hole, London South Bank UniversityThe British Confectioner’s Award – Best Overall Confectionery ItemElizabeth Parkinson Blandy, NPTCThe Masters Cup – Coburg, Wholemeal Tin & 4 strand PlaitMary Graham, Blackpool & the Fylde College (all three)The British Society Of Baking Trophy – 800g White Tin LoafCaroline Mellor, Sheffield CollegeThe Sourdough Challenge Trophy – Pain au LevainFillippo Salvaggio, Tameside CollegeThe Warburtons Challenge Trophy – Fruit LoafCharlotte Heappey, UCBThe Mandy Wansell Trophy – 4 Danish PastriesRachel Kippax, Sheffield CollegeThe Masters Award – Best Overall Fermented Item Natalie Wood, BlackpoolThe British Bakels Award – 4 Healthy Eating Muffins/Cereal BarsKieron Murphy, LeedsThe Innovation Trophy – One fermented productCharlotte Donelly, UCB3D – Dough Art DisplayDylan Carroll, LimerickThe Victory Challenge Trophy – 6 Decorated Biscuits – LiveAmanda Brooks, Tameside CollegeThe IBB Live Piping – Royal IcingElizabeth Parkinson, NPTCMarzipan Modelling – 3 Models – LiveKayleigh Holden, Blackpool & the Fylde CollegeThe Wrights Trophy – Dead dough display piece – LiveMatthew Haynes, London South Bank UniversityLob the cobThe famous lobbing of the cob took place again on the Saturday before prizes were awarded. The winning shot is below.Next yearThe conference has been held at Alton Towers for seven years, due to popular demand and despite rising costs. Drayton Manor Park was mooted as another option for next year, but students unanimously voted for a repeat in Staffordshire and on either the same or previous weekend in June.The board will continue to look at other venue options in the interests of saving costs for both the ABST and the students.The theme picked for next year’s fancy dress evening is Heroes and Villains.IN A PREVIOUS VERSION OF THIS STORY THE THE ABST WAS INCORRECTLY NAMED. BRITISH BAKER APOLOGISES FOR THIS MISTAKE AND IS HAPPY TO RECTIFY IT.