LAS VEGAS — As the baking industry reunited in person for the first time in three years at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), the Tiptree World Bread Awards USA made its debut at the show.

After two years of recognizing “Bread Heroes” for contributing to their communities, the awards returned to recognizing the top bakes and bakers in the country. Carefully judged based on certain criterion, each entry was evaluated by a panel of judges including Robb MacKie, president and CEO of the American Bakers Association and chair of IBIE; Coinneach MacLeod “The Hebridean Baker”, Karl De Smedt, known as the Sourdough Librarian; and more.

Following judging, which took place on the trade show floor in the North Hall on Sept. 19, the awards ceremony was held on the third-floor terrace of the Las Vegas Convention Center on the evening of Sept. 20.


Participants gathered after a long day at IBIE, eager to hear the results of the awards while overlooking the beautiful mountains and Las Vegas skyline. With a total of 16 categories, an individual winner for each category was announced along with the runner-up.

Caroline Kenyon, founder of the awards, spoke on her overview of the night and shared what the awards being held at the Baking Expo meant to her.

“There is so much hard work that goes into the awards from all of the bakers, and it is so exciting to have IBIE be a part of our awards for the first time ever,” she said. “I think it just highlights the absolute centrality of bread to human life.”


The awards presentation was hosted by Stephen Hallam, brand ambassador for Dickinson & Morris and chair of judges for the awards.

Glorious Bastard — a naturally leavened, organic sourdough made of freshly-milled sprouted ancient grains, upcycled grains and a large portion of whole wheat — took home the grand prize of Overall Winner. The award was accepted by Naz Shekarchi, director of operations for Céor Bakery, on behalf of Guy Frenkel, owner and founder of Céor Bakery.

“Our founder was actually out of town, and [this award] shows us both that we can lead and teach a small group of bakers our passion for sourdough and great-quality ingredients,” Shekarchi shared. “They were able to execute this amazing bread in his absence, so that makes me incredibly proud of the team that we’ve trained and brought together.”


Among the awards presented at the event, the People’s Choice award was the only one voted on by the public ahead of IBIE and focused on a bakery rather than a baked good. This year’s winner was The Flour Girl Bakery, based in Hebron, CT.

“I just opened my bakery in March,” said Michelle Nicholson, owner of The Flour Girl Bakery. “I started off my front porch three years ago during the pandemic and it’s grown into this. I am totally excited to be here. I’m standing next to people who I follow on Instagram, my bread heroes, and I have an award with them. It’s amazing.”

One of the bakers who won multiple awards from the night was Johann Willar, executive head baker at the Wynn Hotel. He won in the Challah and Pretzel category and was runner-up in several more. Following the awards, Willar shared that this was his first time entering in the Tiptree World Bread Awards, noting how proud he was at what he’d accomplished that evening.

“It’s very rare for bread bakers to make their own bread in casinos,” Willar said. “We are the only ones on the Strip that make our own bread. I want people to come to the Wynn and us to be known for our bread.”

The list of winners is as follows:

Overall Winner

Glorious Bastard

By Guy Frenkel, Céor (Sante Fe Springs, CA)


Sprouted Wheat with Figs and Pecan Loaf

By Richard Sperry (Salt Lake City, UT)

Specialty Sweet

Pistachio and Cherry Panettone

By Diego Cubas, Wynn Las Vegas, F&B Encore (Las Vegas Valley, NV)

Speciality Savory

Forbidden Rice and Sesame Loaf

By Sandeep Gyawali, Miche Bread (Austin, TX)


Rye-less Rye Buckwheat Sourdough

By Mario Librandi, Vegan Mario’s (Oakview, CA)


Bayern Pretzel

By Johann Willar, Wynn Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)


Leavened Challah

By Johann Willar, Wynn Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)


Jerusalem Bagel

By Khawla Khalifa, Le Paton (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)


Pane Alla Pala

By Michael Kalanty, produced for Delfina Restaurants (San Francisco, CA)

Burger Bun

Heirloom Brioche Buns

By Guy Frenkel, Céor (Sante Fe Springs, CA)


Pane Alla Pala

By Michael Kalanty, produced for Delfina Restaurants (San Francisco, CA)


Traditional Baguette

By Stephane Grattier, Boulangerie Christophe (Georgetown, Washington DC)

Wholewheat/ Wholemeal

Hill Country Hundo

By Sandeep Gyawali, Miche Bread (Austin, TX)


Glorious Bastard

By Guy Frenkel, Céor Bread (Sante Fe Springs, CA)

People’s Choice

Michelle Nicholson, The Flour Girl (Hebron, CT)

Tiptree Showstopper USA

Brioche Feuilletée

By Rich Gardunia, Crave Kitchen Bar (Eagle, ID)


Annie Hollon contributed reporting.