Helen Best-Shaw Judges ‘Home Made Cook of the Year 2011′

By Chris Bennett | 24/07/2012 | Posted in Kitchen, Home Made Cook of the Year

Earlier this month, we held the final of our ‘Home Made Cook of the Year’ competition at the WI’s Denman College in Oxfordshire. Along with celebrity chef Brian Turner, we invited our ‘House Proud Innovator’ Helen Best-Shaw (Fuss Free Flavours) to join the judging panel. Helen has since blogged about her time spent at Denman and her role as one of our judges. To read the original post, click here.

Judging Morphy Richard’s Home Made Cook of the Year


As well as being a Morphy Richards Innovator, I was recently asked to help judge their Home Made Cook of the year alongside Brian Turner. The aim was to find Britain’s best homemade dish, that was also bank account friendly costing no more than £7.50 for 4. I am a huge fan of good – and fuss free and affordable – home cooking so I was delighted to be asked.

Denman College


The event was held at the really rather beautiful Denman College, the home of the WI training college, where they run excellent, but eye wateringly expensive training courses. Apparently the college was bought many years ago by the WI, a shrewd investment I am told for a mere £60K.

Having met the finalists and Brian, I embarrassingly managed to fall over my own feet, and ended up in an inelegant sprawled heap on the floor – all this in front of a room full of WI members who were waiting for Brian’s Christmas demonstrations! Having suitably established my credentials for being a judge, the finalists and I departed to the cookery school for them to cook up their dishes.

Yvonne, Sue, Brian and Maria


The finalists were Sue Wynn with a holiday inspired Andalusian Chicken, Yvonne Bailey with Pork in orange and ginger, and Maria Keuhn with Chicken and Coriander Meatballs with Saffron and Courgette Rice.

With lots of time to cook during Brian’s demonstration there was little pressure and lots of time to chat, amazingly I discovered that Yvonne’s Grandfather lived in the house that is now Foodie Bugle HQ, and home to Silvana. It is a very small world indeed.

With all the lovely smells in the kitchen, I was starving when it came for the winning dishes to be presented to Brian and tasted. All were fantastic and it was a very hard choice, but in the end Sue’s Andalusian chicken won, packed with chicken, olives, onion, chorizo and olives. Delicious a perfect winter warmer and crowd pleaser. Definitely one for the Fuss Free kitchen.

Click to download the finalist’s recipes:

Sue’s Andalusian chicken

Yvonne’s Pork with Orange and Ginger

Maria’s Chicken and Coriander Meatballs

Many thanks to Morphy Richards, Brian, Sue, Maria and Yvonne for a fantastic day, and a huge well done to all three finalists!

For another account read here.

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