October 21st, 2016

Leamington Food Festival search for culinary star

Leamington Food Festival search for culinary star Leamington Food Festival search for culinary star
Updated: 3:05 pm, May 07, 2015

THE SEARCH is on to find the UK’s home grown culinary superstar, with the launch of Aubrey Allen’s ‘Home Cook of the Year’ competition.

Entries are now being welcomed for this challenging new foodie initiative, which is being held in conjunction with the Leamington Food & Drink Festival, taking place on Saturday and Sunday September 6 and 7.

Aspiring home cooks of all ages are invited to enter by submitting their favourite three course menu, which includes a cold starter, a hot main course using Aubrey Allen’s ‘Farm Assured’ Cornish lamb and a dessert.

Four finalists will be short-listed to take part in the Grand Final at the Leamington Food & Drink Festival on Sunday September 7, which features a live cook-off for the main course, as well as tastings of their pre-prepared starter and dessert.

Michelin star chef Andreas Antona from Simpsons, and celebrity chef Brian Turner, will be judging the finalists’ culinary efforts. The gourmet duo will also be joined by Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White as the third tasting umpire.

Peter Allen, chairman of Aubrey Allen said: “We’re really excited about bringing this competition to the Leamington Food & Drink Festival, as it reflects the growing dine-in culture across the UK for restaurant style food at home. It’s also designed to highlight the amazing culinary talent that’s practised in the home.”

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington said: “The Leamington Food and Drink Festival will provide the perfect setting to find a home-grown culinary superstar.”

In addition to being crowned ‘Home Cook of the Year’, the winner will receive two places at Aubrey Allen’s Butchery School and two places at Simpsons Cookery School, including dinner for two and an overnight stay at Simpsons in Edgbaston.

The runner-up will also win two places at Aubrey Allen’s Butchery School and dinner for two at Oscars French Bistro in Leamington. Third place wins dinner for four at Oscars and for fourth place a £50 Aubrey Allen voucher.

Entry forms are available to download from www.aubreyallenleamington.co.uk or www.leamingtonfoodfestival.co.uk or pick one up from Aubrey Allen Butcher in Warwick Street. Entries close on August 15.

A mouth-watering menu of surprise treats is being cooked up for this year’s Leamington Food and Drink Festival to tempt another record crowd to the biggest event in the town’s calendar.

Around 25,000 foodies attended the two-day extravaganza last year which is recognised as one of the best autumn food festivals in the country.

Over 150 exhibitors will be showcasing the best in local and regional food and drink during the weekend event which will once again be free to attend in the Royal Pump Room Gardens.

BID Leamington, which organises the festival with the support of local businesses, is finalising this year’s line-up which will feature surprise additions and regular favourites.

Celebrity chefs are among the new attractions joining the action-packed festival in its seventh successive year, with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Local chefs will again be demonstrating throughout the weekend in the Live Cookery Theatre and there will also be the return of the popular BBQ Masterclass area.

The Make and Bake Cookery School, giving budding young chefs the chance to learn culinary skills, and the Taste Trail, offering samples from local restaurants, will be back by popular demand.

Stephanie Kerr, from BID Leamington, said: “The Leamington Food and Drink Festival is undoubtedly the biggest event in the town’s calendar and its reputation is growing far and wide with people from all over the UK and further afield attending.

“It was actually rated as being among the most exciting autumn food festivals in the country by The Daily Telegraph last year and we’re planning to make it even more action-packed this time around.

Visit www.leamingtonfoodfestival.co.uk for more information and the chance to win a food and drink hamper.