Competition Winners

Congratulations to local Leicestershire cooks, Holly Bell and Rosie Clark, who were both in the finals of food competitions this week.

Holly was the runner-up in the BBC's 'The Great British Bake Off'. Although beaten in the final by Essex grandmother Jo Wheatley, Holly is still a real winner. Just to get to the final is a major achievement, to come runner-up, more so.

Rosie was the winner of the Leicestershire Cook-Off where her offering of three local breads were named as Leicestershire's signature dish(es?). Congratulations Rosie, the breads sound fantastic.

That said, the official website tells us that Sarah Harrison, city centre director and Leicestershire Cook Off judge, said: "Lots of counties have a signature dish. Birmingham has its balti and Lancashire has its hot pot, and now this county has its Leicestershire Loaves! Congratulations to Rosie, her recipe will go down in history as the county’s signature dish...".

The breads are: Leicestershire beer and honey bread, an Eastern rye bread featuring Asian spices and a Leicestershire Stilton cheese, Irish soda bread...
...Leicestershire's signature dish? Mmm, well I suppose that I never thought that we would have a Black-American spiritual as our national rugby anthem!

Seriously though, somebody please tell me that they're having a laugh!

Leicestershire's Signature Dish

Melton Mowbray Pork PieI've written before about the current competition to find Leicestershire's 'signature dish'. Initially when it was announced, and then when the deadline for entries was extended.

The final takes place at St Martin’s House, next to Leicester Cathedral, on Tuesday 4 October, between noon and 2pm. The six judges, including celebrity chef James Tanner, will choose which of the dishes will become the winner. The finalists are:

  • Coralie Featherstone, 17, from Markfield, whose recipe of stuffed pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon with a honey mustard sauce, has made it through in the 16 to 18 category.
  • Rosie Clark, 48, from Clarendon Park, Leicester, was chosen in the quirky category with her three 'Leicestershire loaves'.
  • Maurice Flynn, 35, from Hoton near Loughborough, had his apple and mulberry crumble cake chosen in the over-18 category.
  • The remaining finalist is Amardeep Singh Anand, 31, from Leicester city centre, who entered in the professional category with his Bradgate Park venison curry with Red Leicester naan bread.

The competitors, who could win a prize of £1,000 worth of cooking equipment, will have their dishes cooked by a team of professional chefs.

That said: if they think that the winning dish will be 'Leicestershire's Signature Dish', then they're living in 'cloud cuckoo land'! There's more chance of me walking than that happening.

"Blimey, he's off again: moan, moan, moan; He told us all this in his last rant". Well yes, and I'm going to do it again! You see, last night I was thinking that maybe I'd misinterpreted what a signature dish actually is. I'm from Enderby in Leicestershire; it could be said that English is not my first language! So, I actually checked what them posh clever people in Oxford say in their dictionary. They reckon that a signature is summat what is a noun and what, among other things, means:

a distinctive pattern, product, or characteristic by which someone or something can be identified:

the chef produced the pâté that was his signature
[as modifier] :
his signature dish

To my simple brain, that means that Leicestershire's signature dish should be "a dish by which Leicestershire can be identified". I'm sorry Mr Rhodes, but a competition, even with a fantastic £1000 prize, cannot decide that: only time and reputation can!

...and to the competitors: I wish you all good fortune. Have a great day; I'm sure it will be a fantastic experience.

4th Quorn Bacon Roll Day

From the organisers of the 4th Quorn bacon Roll Day:

The time of year is fast approaching when the challenge is made to villagers to create the best Quorn Bacon Roll.

The 4th Quorn Bacon Roll Day will be held at the Quorn Exchange Restaurant, High Street, Quorn on Wednesday, October 5th .

The judges this year will be Lucy Harling of the Quorn Exchange Restaurant; the Mayor of Charnwood, Cllr. Bernard Burr and Anne Davies, presenter of East Midlands Today on BBC TV.

The event starts at 11am with judging at 11.30am and the results at noon or thereabouts.

Full details of how to enter, or to come and watch and taste, contact:
Terry Stirling tel.01509-414287 or e.mail

Ok, "So what the heck is a Quorn bacon Roll?"
For details and a recipe see my previous Quorn Bacon Roll post.

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Belgrave Hall Food Fair

Belgrave Hall Food Fair Flyer

Britain's Favourite Food County

Blimey, the world and his wife seem to want me to advertise their cookery competitions just recently - I don't bother putting half of them online. For example, the most recent request I got was for an ITV food competition and the 'cut off' date for applications was only a few days away. Given that when I last looked the ITV had a bigger media presence than I have, I didn't feel any need to promote their wares, after all they never think of promoting mine!

That said, the website Love British Food is giving people the opportunity to vote for their favourite food County. Just for the fun of it.

It's a great idea, but given that Scotland and Wales are not split into Counties for the purpose of the vote, what chance do poor old Leicestershire's 600,000 population have against 5.2 million Scots? Let alone those of Rutland or the Isle of Wight.

That's the second competition this week where the organisors just haven't thought things through.

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