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Great Croydon Bake Off attracts 500 to Old Town

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BAKING buffs from across the borough came together for the first ever Great Croydon Bake Off last weekend.

The event, which was inspired by the popular BBC programme The Great British Bake Off, had the first of its four rounds on Saturday in a specially-erected marquee in Old Town.

More than 500 Croydon residents went to see the event throughout the day.

The event kicked off at noon, where attendees were treated to succulent savoury and sweet bakes by the four contestants.

Coulsdon-based One Of A Kind Cake Company also held a workshop, ensuring residents got a good taste of what is on offer in Croydon.

Award-winning baking professionals, Tim Fisher and Sean Coughlan, were the judges for the day, and eventually crowned Kimberley Scott-Matthews as the winner, thanks to her cheddar cheese scones with apple and thyme chutney and orange and cranberry bakewell tart with Cointreau icing.

Kimberley will now go through to the final on October 19. She said: "I had an excellent time.

"There was a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere and it was wonderful to chat to members of the public while baking.

"It was also great to meet the other very talented contestants, they all did a fantastic job so it must have been a very close contest.

"I am very much looking forward to the next event, I'll be checking out the competition for the final."

The other three participants also cooked some tasty treats.

Neil Ridulfa made cauliflower cheese galettes and apricot jam gingerbread tarts, while Geoff Ranson cooked a red onion and shallot tarte tatin with warm spiced chocolate fondants and rose cream.

Deborah Mussel made a pear, walnut and blue cheese savoury muffin with a snow peaked chocolate, chestnut and orange truffle cake.

Organiser Christo Matthews said: "Everyone who came commented on the positive, friendly and encouraging atmosphere at the event, with many people chatting to complete strangers and exchanging contact details over coffee at the end.

"It was a triumph. Everyone had a great day from the bakers to the attendees.

"The support I've received from residents and businesses has been inspiring. There's a very real thirst for exciting, fun events like this in Croydon.

"For the Spring Bake Off I'm looking to deliver an even bigger day. I am in talks with some quite large companies which I hope will make the bake-offs happening throughout the year even bigger and star-studded events."

MP Gavin Barwell, who came along, said: "The Bake Off is a great thing.

"The more community events we can have like this, the better. It is great for the town. This is an area of the town with real potential as well."

If you would like to participate in the summer event or you would like your business to sponsor the Bake Off, e-mail contact@christopm.com

Great Croydon Bake Off attracts 500 to Old Town


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