"Massive 28 teams registered"
Here is a report by David Waring about 'what went on':
"Sunday, 8th October saw the largest entry list for the North Yorkshire Scouts’ Annual Camp Cooking Competition so far. 28 teams from North Yorkshire Scout Groups registered and although there were inevitably some cancellations we still ended up with around 70 youngsters taking part in the 2017 County Cooking Competition at Easingwold Outdoor Centre (Dawney Bridge). For the fifth year running the Scouts managed to choose a fine Sunday. However, it was a close run thing and although the day was bright and mostly sunny the site itself reflected the weather of the past few weeks. ‘Welly’ boots were certainly the order of the day. Still, what’s a bit of mud between friends?
As ever, the Outdoor centre saw its first arrivals at around 1000hrs as the teams of Scouts arrived with their shelters, stoves, equipment and ingredients ready to do culinary battle. Mind you the last team didn’t arrive until about 1115hrs, a very brave move and they certainly hit the ground running for the 1200hrs start. As it happened the field conditions delayed some of the earlier teams so we delayed the start a little and no-one was too inconvenienced. As in previous years each team of three were required to produce a meal for four (main meal and either starter or dessert) that they might serve at a Scout Camp. This was using a maximum of 2 rings or burners, no grills or any other aids that they might not have when camping - and all in two hours.
By 1300hrs the place was a hive of activity with everyone working hard to produce a meal that they hoped would win the day. Very soon the field resembled a bee hive with a hum of activity in the cook tents (or at the tables of the two brave teams who decided they wouldn’t bother with a shelter whatever the weather!) and also with a few hopefuls searching for some oddments that had either been forgotten, broken or otherwise rendered un-useable; replacements were always found or offered. There are always a few adults around, to make sure no-one received unacceptable help from outside the tent or suffered serious injury but this year I noticed far more of them simply sitting back, enjoying the sun and monitoring from a distance. The teams really were 'on their own'. My stroll around the cooking areas confirmed this confidence; great knife skills, cunning techniques to cope with ‘camping conditions’ and limited equipment (only two ‘rings’ remember and no oven or grill) being displayed - and this in the fresh air and a muddy field.
Despite the delayed start, by 1415hrs (the two hour limit) all meals had been presented for judging in a form of natural progression as the various courses were cooked. This year the three judges had possibly the hardest time so far choosing the three best meals. All meals presented were assessed as extremely good. As ever, some had excellent mains whilst others excelled with the desert or starters and whilst it was not difficult to sort the top five, deciding on the final three was not easy. With the help of the long-standing cooking experience of one of their number, the three judges, Mark Edwards, Keith Cartwright and Felicity Hackett, all members of the County Scouting HQ Staff, managed to agree on the winners. Even then it was only by applying culinary and presentational standards that would more usually have been seen in a ‘Master Chef’ competition - and still it wasn’t without a certain amount of argument!
However, the job was done and the final result was:
1st. Ripon and District. 1st Topcliffe Group team: “Topcafe” with Pan Fried Salmon and parsley sauce with new potatoes, mange touts and baby carrots with Tiramisu for desert.
2nd Ripon and District. Hillside Group, team: “Hillside Girls” with Pan fried Chicken with a Creamy Paprika Sauce and a Toffee Crumble and Home Made Custard for desert.
3rd Leven District. 1st Great Ayton Group, team: “Resolution”. They produced a Risotto and Bruschetta main course with Chocolate fudge brownie for desert.
Congratulations to Ripon and District: Not only did the 1st Topcliffe Group achieve a FIRST for the second year running but their Hillside Group also managed to get Second prize.
Everyone said that they had had a thoroughly enjoyable day and promised to be back for next year’s competition which is scheduled for Sunday 9th October 2018. Provisionally at the EOC (Dawney) again but that is to be confirmed. Why not you put a marker on your calendar and perhaps we will see you there (or wherever). With luck it might not be quite such a muddy field!
Thanks to all who came and supported the Scouts, everyone I spoke to expressed their pleasure at seeing so many youngsters enjoying themselves. And while there was a little disappointment for the ‘Home’ team as Easingwold were not able to get a 2nd place to add to their previous years’ results in order to achieve a ‘full set’ of awards - but, heigh-ho - ’that’s the way the cookie crumbles’. There is always next year!"
Sounds like EVERYONE had a good time - WELL DONE TO ALL!