Existential questions aside, the winner of the KCRW Pie Contest was delicious

KCRW Good Food Pie Contest.
Just a few of the almost 400 pies entered in the KCRW Good Food Pie Contest.
(Russ Parsons/Los Angeles Times)

Almost 400 pies later, the winner of the sixth annual KCRW Good Food Pie Contest hung on one existential question: “What is a pie?” 

There was a hardline contingent who insisted that a pie not only had to have two crusts (a pie with one crust is a tart!), but also be served from a pie plate, not a regular plate. 

Still, after a brief but spirited philosophical discussion, the judges finally decided that, in the end, good taste was what mattered. And that nothing tasted better than Allison Brooker’s Chicken Pot Pie Galette — even if it was served on a dinner plate —and so it was crowned Best in Show.

Alina Bezdikian and J.P. Bolles took home the coveted Best Crust award.


This year’s event was held at the Fowler Museum at UCLA in baking temperatures. But that didn’t discourage many entrants. There were 139 pies in the fruit category alone.

Best in Show: Allison Brooker, Chicken Pot Pie Galette.

Best Crust: Alina Bezdikian and J.P. Bolles, Apple Pie.

Fruit Pie: 1st — Merida Gorman, Classic Apple; 2nd - Alina Bezdikian and J.P. Bolles, Apple Pie; 3rd - Alicia Luther, Sour Cherry.


Savory Pie: 1st - Allison Brooker, Chicken Pot Pie Galette; 2nd - Susan O’Bryan, Beer Braised Pork Pie; 3rd  Hallee Hirsh, Winter Pie of Grassfed Beef Cheek with a Spelt Crust.

Cream Pie: 1st - Gloria Zarate, Rosewater and Orange Blossom Water Cream with Peaches, Pistachios and Chocolate Hazelnut; 2nd - Claudia Choi, Cream Pie with Frangelico Whipped Cream & Hazelnut Brittle; 3rd - Emily Cofrancesco, Butter Beer Butterscotch Mousse with Speculoos Crust, Butter Whipped Cream, Chocolate & Pop Rocks.

Cooked Custard: 1st - Staci Agapiou, Mandarin Orange Meringue; 2nd - Edlyne Nicolas, Salted Honey Pie; 3rd - Helen Brooks, Chai Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust and a Pecan Toffee Topping.

Nut Pie: 1st - Samantha Seeholzer, Date Pecan Pie; 2nd - Claudia Guevara, Pecan Pie; 3rd - Kyle Gatlin, All-Butter Crust Bourbon Pecan Pie

Vegan Pie: 1st - Edlyne Nicolas, Plum Nectarine Crisp; 2nd - Claudia Guevarra, Vegan Apple Pie; 3rd - Morgan Simons, Peach Bourbon Cherry Pie.

World Pie: 1st - Cybelle Tondu, Mayan Vessel Pie with Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Corn; 2nd - Jaime Shaheen, Cajeta Apple; 3rd - Todd Whitford, Calmansi Pie (Filipino Pie).

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