Major competitions at Leamington Food and Drink Festival

Jenny Hudson, owner of Sweet As Cake Emporium, Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, and Peter Allen, chair of Aubrey Allen NNL-160729-142758001
Jenny Hudson, owner of Sweet As Cake Emporium, Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, and Peter Allen, chair of Aubrey Allen NNL-160729-142758001
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There will be no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen when this year’s Leamington Food and Drink Festival hosts two major competitions for amateur chefs and bakers.

Home Cook of the Year and the Leamington Bake Off returns to the line-up for this year’s ninth annual Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival, taking place on the weekend of September 10 and 11 in the Pump Room Gardens.

Organisers of the free-to-attend event, which attracted 25,000 visitors last year, are urging anyone who fancies themselves as the next Jamie Oliver or Mary Berry to enter the culinary competitions and showcase their talent in front of the community.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington which organises the festival, said: “The Leamington Food and Drink Festival is now one of the biggest and most popular dates in the town’s calendar, attracting visitors from far and wide.

“So as well as raising the profile of the diverse cuisine on offer in the town’s vibrant bars and restaurants, the festival also provides a perfect opportunity to showcase some of our community’s home-grown talent too.

“Both competitions attracted huge interest last year and we’re sure this year will be no different, so for those who think they could challenge Nigella Lawson’s talent, we urge you to enter either of the challenges to truly put your skills to the test.”

Kicking off the competitive cooking action is the Leamington Bake Off, which will take centre stage on Saturday, September 10, where a panel of experts - including Jenny Hudson from Sweet As Cake Emporium, Peter Knibb from Restaurant 23, and Laura Hamilton from Queans - will judge the town’s finest homemade cakes and bakes.

As well as the Chocolate Masterpiece, Sweet Tart and children’s categories, new this year is the Decorated Leamington Celebration Cake, which invites bakers to enter cakes themed around the town.

Cooking up a treat on the Sunday will be Home Cook of the Year which is the brainchild of Peter Allen, the chairman of Leamington butchers and catering company Aubrey Allen .

Visitors will be able to feast their eyes on contestants’ best attempts at the perfect three course menu.

Competitors will be under pressure as they cook a lamb-based main live in front of crowds, with prizes award to three contestants who cook the winning dishes.

For entry forms visit {http://www.leamingtonfoodfestival.co.uk| www.leamingtonfoodfestival.co.uk, www.aubreyallenleamington.co.uk/ThisMonth or www.sweet-as.co.uk