25 days ago
With thousands of colleagues working from home, and many more spending an increased amount of time within their own four walls, lots of people found themselves with time on their hands and families to feed. Enter: the lockdown bakers!
Recognising the solid base of colleagues who were getting busy with their biscuits, our Culinary Ambassador, David Mulcahy (and his top team of foodie experts) introduced The Great Sodexo Bake Off.
Over 170 people submitted entries between April and June 2020 - with efforts ranging from scintillating starters to spectacular star bakes, and hardly a soggy bottom between them!
Now it’s time to announce the winners, and share some of their brilliant bakes:
Main winner - Linda Gardiner
Linda entered with her bake 'Happy Covid-19 Armed Forces'. Linda said: "I made this to thank all of the staff at Montgomery House for all their hard work on Covid-19. I made over 400 of these over three weekends as I love baking and I wanted to cheer up the personnel I work with.
"I loved making these - they were all made from the heart to thank everyone. I think cake is a lovely way to put a smile on people's faces when times are stressful and busy."
Under 16s winner - Ruby Merryweather
Daughter of Healthcare Learning and Development Manager, Alessandra Merryweather, Ruby created carrot cake cupcakes for the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Alessandra said: "Grating the carrot was a challenge but she wanted to do it - until she grated her finger that is! That didn't put her off baking the cakes, but it may be a while before she helps mummy grate anything else! She handmade the little flags and we had a socially distanced celebration with our neighbours in the evening where she could show them off. It's the first time we have used this recipe and it has already become a family favourite."
Team award - 1RRF Officers Team
Nicola MacDonald, Mara Allen, Justin Hudgell, Kalpana Subba and Sophie Batchelor from the 1RRF Officers team entered the Teddy Bears Picnic category, and found that the competition gave them an opportunity to bond as a team: "With our team split up at the moment working in various other buildings to support areas needed during this Covid-19 outbreak, it has been lovely for us to all to get back together (social distanced of course) to plan and achieve our ideas for a joint effort Teddy Bears Picnic."
U16s team award - The Givan's
Malcolm Givan and his team of young helpers - Maia, Freya and Phelim - entered three categories, and delighted the judges with a summer strawberry & ice cream meringue roulade, an organic extra coarse wholemeal, spelt and buttermilk soda, and a fudgy flourless chocolate and banana brownie. Yum!
Best selfie - Ella Milne
23-month-old Ella loves to help her nana Pamela Milne in the kitchen: "Ever since she made her first chocolate cake, she always looks forward to licking the spoon at the end! However, that now often includes ending up with the bowl on her head as she tries to get the last of the chocolate out!"
Dedication to the bake off - Yvonne Raee and Malgorzata Sliwinska
Between them and their families, Yvonna and Malgorzata submitted over 30 entries to the bake off - an amazing feat!
Pictured L-R: Linda Gardiner, Ruby Merryweather, the 1RRF Officers Team Teddy Bears Picnic, Malcolm and Freya Givan, Ella Milne, Yvonne Raee and Malgorzata Sliwinska.
You can download the full list of category winners and runners-up here - did you or someone you know impress the judges?
Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter The Great Sodexo Bake Off, and congratulations to all our winners.
If you're in 'knead' of some inspiration, download The Great Sodexo Bake Off - The Book. By downloading this book, you are directly helping causes which tackle hunger for families, children and the most vulnerable in our communities. We recommend a small donation of £5 to the Stop Hunger employee relief fund.
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