District Cooking Competition 2011

The Falcon Patrol in action...
Saturday 5th February was the day for the Loddon District Scouts Cooking Competition, again held at 1st Twyford's HQ. The day started about 11.00 hrs, bringing all the wooden tables in from the stores, which proved tricky in the gale force winds blowing across the rec! Once inside the hall was set out into stations with the stove and preparation tables, urns filled with water ready for washing up; all in position as the first Scouts started arriving. The 7 troops that attended quickly set up their gas, cooking equipment and sorted their supplies ready for the off at about 12.30. After a quick introduction to our judges for the afternoon; John Sinnerton, the chef at Burratas restaurant in Ruscombe and Ian Poulter, a good friend of mine - a very good cook at home (and Twyford Parent & Son Camp!) and who also represented Hurst at cooking a 'few' years back in the Murray Plate, the Scouts set about their task.
The theme for the competition was 'Local Produce'; when it landed in my e-mail tray my first thought was - 'in January?' But the teams certainly rose to the challenge and cooked up quite an array of dishes for the judges to get their teeth into; indeed I was amazed by the diversity of courses on offer. The only problem during the afternoon seemed to be the heat in the hall - if a window or door was opened the gale would blow out the gas, so it was rather uncomfortable when all the stoves were alight. Still, the dishes duly got prepared while the judges toured the hall spot tasting and offering tips and advice where needed and the odd nod of encouragement. While the teams cleared their stations the judges compared notes and began the task of allocating marks, not an easy job at all with so many facets to the competition - appearance, hygiene, balance of menu, teamwork, table presentation, food presentation - oh, and cooking.
Twyford prepared a menu that was very well balanced and well within the budget of £18. The starter was Twyford Country Vegetable Soup, made from locally sourced seasonal vegetables served with fresh Bread from Hurst Bakery. This was followed by Loddon Lamb with rosemary - the butcher at Hare Hatch told us the name of the farmer who reared the lamb! This was accompanied by crispy sauteéd potatoes. The dessert was a real mess - Twyford Berry Mess in fact! Fruits from the gadens of Twyford crushed with cream and meringue - lovely! All washed down with cordials from Rocks. The Falcon Patrol with Dominic as PL, Chris, Arran and Sam created a very edible menu, served it on a well laid and decorated table and impressed the judges enough to gain 3rd place overall, a fine achievement for an inexperienced team. Had it been on cooking alone they would have been joint first - there was only 3 points between the top 3 teams!

Well done to you all,

Attached below is a full results table in Excel.


The slap-up meal...

The judges deliberating
Andy Dent,
6 Feb 2011, 12:34