Award-winning pie maker takes top prize at Florida State Fair

- A string of record-setting wins has brought national fame to the Pie Man at this year's Florida State Fair.

This year's fair was no exception.

Andy Hilton of Davenport takes a scientific approach to baking pastries.

"I really get into that tinkering with the formulas and mixing flavors and coming up with that magical flavor," he said.

Andy started making sweet treats with his mom when he was a child.

"My mom would compete in our county fair in Michigan and so it was our time together," he explained.

Andy started competing in the Florida State Fair Baking Competition in 2009. He has won the Best Of Show five out of the last eight years.

This year, it was his Honey Lemon Bubble Bee Pie that took first prize.

"It just looked like a pie that you would want to eat, and the presentation of it matched the flavor," America's Pie Judge Scott Arend said.

Now, Andy is something of a pastry chemist. 

"A little too much baking powder or a little too much liquid into a formula and you can turn something that was magical into a puddle of goo," Andy explained.

Andy was also named the top national baker in 2017 by the American Pie Council.

"There's one thing that competitions help with, you got to be on your toes," Andy said.

The pie guy, as Andy is called, enjoys the experience of watching people eating his pies.

"Their eyes are kind of wide and their forehead goes up like this, and they're like, 'Oh, my God. I never tasted anything like that before,'" Andy said.

He believes using good ingredients and patience are important in making a tasty championship pie. But he says he will keep practicing and striving to make the perfect pie.

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