Asian bakers are setting out to prove they can match the world's best when it comes to creativity and taste at the Asian Bakery Awards. ANYONE who cannot resist cream cakes or Danish pastries will be fascinated by the skills of the participants in the Asian Bakery Awards. The awards, which are the first of their kind in Asia, are intended to reward and recognise the excellence of bakers and pastry chefs throughout Asia. The competition is divided into individual and team events, with the individual event broken down into five classes. Originally, the plan was to allow individuals to take part in one or more of the five classes with a Master Baker award for the competitor who achieved the highest standard. But the cost of constructing a kitchen for just one or two entrants proved prohibitive, so now there is only one practical event. The five individual classes are a bread design, cake design, Danish or puff pastry, and bread, rolls and buns, with the one practical test in this class being cake decoration. Over 20 competitors from Shanghai, Beijing, Taiwan, Macau and Hongkong will take part. Three teams, each with three members, make up the team competition. This section of the awards takes place tomorrow. Each team is required to design a 2 x 1 x 1.8-metre display to include a pastry show piece, chocolate pralines, petits fours glaces, a gateau, french pastries, petits fours sec and savouries. The teams get to choose their own theme, but it must be related to a festival associated with a particular season of the year. The competition will be held over three days. The team event will be held tomorrow, with the individual practical event on Thursday. Display classes are scheduled for today and tomorrow. The presentation of the award will be made on the final day of Hofex. The Hongkong Bakery and Confectionery Association is jointly organising the event, which is being sponsored by Garden Co, Avocet Food Corp, Hongkong Flour Mills, Rich Products, Hongkong Refrigerating Company and Lucullus Food and Wines. Mr Peter Suter, marketing director of the Bakery and Confectionery Association, said that the competition would show what could be achieved by bakers and chefs in Hongkong, and act as an incentive to upgrade standards. He said it was a ''pity'' that the competition only attracted a small number of entrants, but added that late notification of the event was the major cause of this.