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National Bakery School graduate wins top award at the Baking Industry Awards

Baking prodigy and National Bakery School graduate Nathan Giles had his talent and creativity recognised at the baking industry's most prestigious awards ceremony
14 September 2015

National Bakery School graduate, Nathan Giles, who started out in life wanting to be a builder, has been given The Rising Star Award at the Baking Industry Awards 2015 – the industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Nathan Giles, who currently works as a New Product Development Technologist with the UK’s largest organic baker, Nicholas & Harris, beat off stiff competition from the upper crust of the British baking industry to claim the top award which recognises emerging talent.

The Rising Star Award is open to entrants of all ages, but is aimed at those in work, studies or training who are able to demonstrate their bakery achievements during the past three years.

Nathan, 29, graduated from the National Bakery School in 2012 after completing a BSc (Hons) in Baking Technology Management. He then went on to work as a research associate on a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) between London South Bank University (LSBU) and Mr Bagels Limited, a food manufacturer for major retailers and wholesalers in the UK and other European countries. Through the KTP, he helped alleviate problems in bagel production, such as new product development protocols and quality control.  

The award was presented to Nathan by television personality and star of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Claudia Winkleman, and Mike Holling, Executive Director of the award’s sponsor, Craft Bakers Association. More than 800 industry guests recognised Nathan’s achievements at the gala awards ceremony held at London’s Park Lane Hilton.

Nathan’s earlier plan of a career in construction was quickly abandoned after starting a job at a Sainsbury’s bakery. “I was definitely bitten by the baking bug whilst working in Sainsbury’s. This led me take up an opportunity at a small bakery called The Bakery in Bexleyheath.

 “Working at The Bakery allowed me to explore my real passion for baking. I felt I wanted to learn more about the technical side of baking, so was later given the chance to study a City & Guilds in Baking and then I went on to study Baking Technology Management at LSBU.”

Speaking of his experience at the National Bakery School Nathan said; “I really value my time studying at the National Bakery School and have so many highlights. These include being nominated as a top student, being awarded the Freedom of The Worshipful Company of Bakers and having the opportunity to develop and launch products for retailers all over the UK. The National Bakery School really gave me the opportunity to really develop the vital skills needed for a career in baking.”

Now in its 28th year, the annual Baking Industry Awards are the premier event in the UK bakery calendar and have been recognising industry excellence since 1987. Run by British Baker magazine, prizes are awarded across 11 categories including Speciality Bread Product, Celebration Cake Business and Bakery Manufacturer of the Year.