An East Devon woman has risen to a culinary challenge and beaten 400 other entrants to have her leek recipe chosen as the winner of a national competition.
Alison Thackray who lives in Budleigh Salterton, won the competition, run by the British Leek Growers Association, in partnership with parenting website Mumsnet, after submitting her mouth-watering recipe for a cheese and leek soufflé.
Ally won £250 in John Lewis vouchers and her recipe will be published online. Five runners up were also chosen to receive copies of Katriona MacGregor’s new cookbook, ‘Healthy, Speedy Suppers’.
Ally, who works at the Tourist Information Centre in Budleigh, said: “I could not believe it when I found out I had won the competition, I was just so pleased and it was a wonderful prize.”
“It wasn’t an old family recipe or anything it was just one I thought would work and had a good combination of cheese and leeks. I love cooking with British leeks and you will usually find some in our kitchen as they are such a useful ingredient.”
There were more than 400 entrants for the competition, who were asked to submit their favorite leek recipe along with a picture of the dish.
Commenting on the competition’s success, head judge, Robert Murison from Nunhems Seeds, said: “We were really pleased with the response to our Mumsnet competition and it is great to see how many people love to cook with British leeks.
“The winning recipe was a classic combination, which results in a dish that would be perfect for a family meal or to serve at a dinner party, highlighting just how adaptable leeks are.”
Leeks are in season for most of the year and the health benefits of eating them regularly include reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol while boosting ‘good’ cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, protecting against some cancers and stabilising blood sugar levels.
(from a press release)