I’ve been extra busy the last couple of weeks with various things. One of these things was an unexpected phone call letting me know I had been selected as one of three finalists for 2015 Home Cook Hero Awards run by Easy Food Magazine. The recipe I had entered was for flapjacks. On reading up more I realised there was a bit more to it than first met the eye! I would have to prove my recipe by cooking it at Cooks Academy and having it judged by three judges on the day – Catherine Fulvio, Nick Munier and Gina Miltiadou. This would be followed a few hours later by a fancy awards event in the Shelbourne hotel where the winners would be announced. Not only that but TV3’s camera crew would be there and it would all be videoed.
To say I was a little out of my comfort zone was an understatement, but I love a challenge. I practiced the recipe a few times, making mistakes in ways I never had before, but I think I’ve learnt all the possible pitfalls to making flapjacks – burnt raisins, too crumbly and overdone to name a few. I knew the biggest challenge was using a different oven as I know my own one with all its foibles inside out. I gave a lot of consideration on how to present them for the judges and several photo messages to my friend and sister later (thanks girls!), I had finally decided.
Playing around with the presentation
The day arrived and I headed off to Dublin on the bus with my (big) shopping bag of ingredients. Cooks Academy is a fabulous work-space, I think cooking would be so much more enjoyable all the time if my kitchen was so well laid out with no clutter. Interspersed with interruptions from the video crew, I set about making my flapjacks, and it went fairly well. I didn’t have enough time to let them cool fully so they crumbled quite a lot which I was disappointed with but the ones I sent to the judges were intact and I’m told they tasted good! The hard work was over it was time to chill out in the city for a few hours and then get ready for the Shelbourne Hotel.
We were treated to wine and bubbles and a beautiful meal in the Shelbourne, followed by the awards presented by Martin King. It was a nice atmosphere with everyone seated beside their fellow finalists for each category. I got to know the other two finalists and their parents a bit over dinner. Unfortunately, I didn’t win in my category. Congratulations to 9 year old Emma Quigley who won with her lunchbox muffins! Each finalist received a lovely hamper full of Irish foodie goodies. It was a lovely night and a great experience.
The show will be on TV3 on Saturday 14th November at 12pm midday.
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