Designer’s skill in the kitchen wins award in the Cake District

Interior designer Alison Tordoff took first prize in the Lake District Valentine’s bake-off contest at the Cedar Manor Hotel in Windermere.

Alison, who runs Fidget Design, proved that she could apply her talents to edible art in the competition organised by Windermere and Bowness Fairtrade group.

Her entry, a lemon ricotta gluten-free cake with a “glowing heart”, took the honours from 16 entries in front of a crowd of more than 80 baking enthusiasts.

The cakes were “blind” judged by the hotel’s owner Jonathan Kaye and sous chef Michael Vango who also gave two baking demonstrations during the event.

They were unaware that they had awarded top marks to Alison who designed the rooms at the hotel.


The judges in action

The cakes, all on a Valentine’s theme, were judged on presentation, texture and taste, and the judges had a difficult time reaching their decision.

“There were spectacularly-decorated cakes, and others which tasted wonderful. We used a numerical judging system to be absolutely fair,” said Mr Vango.

He added: “All the entries were of the highest standard.”

Alison won a £50 Lakeland voucher. In second place was Catherine Greenall, who won a remedial massage treatment by Sarah Todd, and third was Doreen Westmorland who won a Farrer’s gift basket.

Grainne Jakobson was “highly commended”, and a special merit prize of a Traidcraft basket for the contestant using the widest range of Fairtrade products was awarded  to Mary Shankley. All the cakes had to be made with Fairtrade sugar.

winning cake

And the winner is….

“The event was a huge success, and we had a good range of Fairtrade products on sale, said Theresa Wooll, who co-ordinated the contest for the Fairtrade group with the Cedar Manor.

Cedar Manor co-owner Caroline Kaye said: “We were thrilled to host this competition because we love cake, and it’s such a good cause. Our restaurant uses Fairtrade products, and we were amazed by the artistry and talent of the entries.”


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