A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 25, 2009

A “pie-off” is like a “bake-off,” except only pies can be entered in the baking competition. The “cook-off” is the original of the “-off” words to describe cooking contests.

The first “pie-off” possibly was held in San Francisco (CA) in the 1990s. Portland (OR) and Austin (TX) also now have “pie-offs.”

Pie Off
an intercontinental fruit-based dessert pie baking competition

Portland (OR) Pie-Off
It’s a Pie-Off!
You think we’re kidding? Oh no we’re not. It’s on!

Our PDX Network
by Betsy Richter on July 29, 2008
It started (as all good things do lately, it seems) on Twitter.

The pie smack talk, that is.

Lelo may have been boasting about the blackberry pie she had cooling on her counter just then. Or RadioGretchen might have been talking about never, ever having made a peach pie before. Maybe it was LizzyCaston bragging about her mom’s famous Lemon Chess Pie recipe.

Next thing you know, well - some people now have to put up or shut up. Yep, their good pie-baking reps are now on the line. Others just want to volunteer for the oh so onerous task of judging. And there’s even a new #mmmpie hashtag you can use to follow the madness.

Yes, it’s a Pie-Off!

Bay Area Bites
Pie Off 2008
August 12, 2008
posted by Shuna Fish Lydon
A few years ago I met a fellow who talked some very big words about pie. He seemed to think he knew a lot. He said he had this friend, Aligator, who organized a pie competition every year, and, if I was lucky, I might get to attend.

Through veils of secrecy and language written to intimidate even the most scholarly, Pie Off was turning out to be something to be reckoned with. People who came just to watch and snack and spy were turned away. Gorgeous, fruit-laden pretties were disqualified for blatant disregard for the rules, and stories were told about past year rule breakers, who were, conspicuously, missing from the day’s event.

Pie Off was going to be a serious affair.

Weeks before the date, emails came from an undisclosed location. There was an argument about whether I would be allowed to make a pie. Ransom notes for the precious Pie Off Trophy were hung in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood. Christo* was hired to wrap the secret location. More emails came.

I was asked to be a Pielebrity. Star-struck like a fan in line all night I said yes, having absolutely no idea what I just said yes to.

Austin (TX) Chronicle (March 20, 2009)
Pie man Bud Royer alerted me to a blog post about an upcoming local pie competition that I’m eager to share, but the details were still relatively sketchy at press time. What I can tell you is that after 10 years in the San Francisco Bay area and a couple of years in New York City, the Pie-Off ATX will be held in Austin this year “to bring like-minded pie bakers together for a jamboree of filling creativity, crust integrity, and overall baked-goodedness.” Details about the competition are being released gradually at http://www.pieoff.blogspot.com. I’m fascinated and plan to whip up a pie and attend. Saturday, March 21, 2-6:30pm.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, March 25, 2009 • Permalink