A leading food festival has begun the search for the region’s finest kitchen creations with a call-out for amateur chefs to share their secrets.

The Yum! Festival of Food and Drink has joined forces with Hull College Hospitality and Catering School to present the Hull and East Yorkshire Community Cook of the Year challenge.

The competition is free to enter and open to all non-professional cooks in the Hull and East Yorkshire area. The top two selected by the judges will prepare and serve their dishes at the Yum! Festival on Saturday 10th August, and both will receive some great prizes.

Contestants must select their best or favourite dish and submit a recipe based on two portions as well as a photograph or diagram. They can opt for sweet or savoury and can use any combination of ingredients. They must be able to prepare and cook the dish in 30 minutes, with a maximum cost of £10 for the two portions.

Entries can be posted or emailed to HullBID and will be judged by Yum! Festival organisers and catering and lecturers from Hull College Hospitality and Catering School. The top two will then be invited to take their ingredients and any specialist equipment to the cook-off, where basic equipment will be available and ingredient costs will be reimbursed on the day.

The winner will receive £150 cash donated by HullBID and the runner-up will receive a £100 voucher donated by 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar.

The competition was the idea of Ian Snedden and Phil Dixon, both lecturers in hospitality and catering.

Ian said: “There are all sorts of competitions for chefs and we thought it would be nice to do something for the community. Why should it always be the professional chefs all the time?

“The rules are very simple and straightforward. It’s about the food that people like to cook for themselves, family and friends, maybe for a dinner party with a maximum spend of £10 per person. 

“I will be quite happy if we get classic dishes like good fish and chips or a casserole as long as it tastes great. It’s not about having money to spend on high class ingredients. It could be a spag bol as long as it’s fantastic.”

Deborah Spicer, Director of 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar, said: “It will be 10 years in October since we opened as The Wilson Gastrobar and as part of our celebrations we wanted to support this competition.

“HullBID has done so much to improve the food offer in Hull city centre with the Yum! Festival and Hull Street Food Nights and it’s great to see them present an opportunity for amateur chefs. There is a lot of interest in food with so many cooking programmes on TV and it will be interesting to see what people can come up with themselves.”

Catherine Goble, Marketing & Events Co-ordinator at HullBID, said: “We’re bringing back the cooking demonstrations by professional chefs for this year’s Yum! Festival and we felt it would be great to offer amateur chefs the chance to take their place on the stage.

“We’re looking forward to receiving a lot of interesting and varied entries and above all to tasting the dishes produced by the two finalists in front of a live audience at the Yum! Festival.”

The Yum! Festival will take place in Queens Gardens and The Rose Bowl on Friday 9 August and Saturday 10 August. Entries should be sent to Catherine Goble, Yum! Festival, HullBID, 34-38 Beverley Road, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU3 1YE, or emailed to catherine@hullbid.co.uk The closing date is Monday 8th July at midday.

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