THE inaugural One Pot Cook Off Champion was announced at The Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel after a sizzling competition.
The winner, primary school teacher Bhupinder Virdee-Lace, will see her dish on the Snooty Fox menu at the hotel. Bhupinder will be presented with the award at the Chester Food & Drink Festival at a ceremony over Easter.
More than 30 food lovers in the audience watched the finalists present their dishes to the panel of judges. Bhupinder, 39, of Dicksons Drive, Newton, Chester, created chicken in a creamy tomato and courgette sauce and she only had one hour and one pot to prepare the dish.
Bhupinder, who also won a complimentary weekend for two in the Master Suite at the hotel, said: “I am really chuffed to have won The One Pot Cook Off competition. This was my take on meat and two vegetables; it will be great to see my meal on The Snooty Fox menu. Winning this competition helps me promote my love of food. I am working on a cookery book, featuring British produce, which marries Punjabi and British ingredients.”
Other finalists were Michelle Dunkerley, 33, of Handbridge, who cooked Handbridge fish and prawn stew, including a white wine sauce with tomatoes, dill, lemon, potatoes and carrots. Michelle is a Maths teacher at Neston High School. Stuart Higgs, 61, of Tarvin, a retired RAF worker, created chicken and smoky bacon hotpot with a Cheshire cheese crumble. All of the amateur chefs were overseen by The Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel head chef Dave Halewood.
Kate Halewood, general manager for The Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel, said: “These are three talented chefs, who created tasty dishes. The blend of flavours in Bhupinder’s dish and its presentation won out in the end.”