On Wednesday 13th November, Bolton College hosted ‘A Taste of Bolton: Master Chef Cook-off’, organised by the group ‘Women in Neighbourhoods’. Teams in three categories – Students, Community & Business – competed for the top prizes for Recipe & Taste and for Presentation of Food.
The event was organised by Gulnaz Brennan, Chair of Women in Neighbourhoods, and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. A recipe book, ‘A Taste of Bolton’ was also launched on the day. Fantastic hampers for the winners were kinndly donated by House of Raja.
A distinguished panel of judges included Edith Conn OBE, President of the Greater Manchester Red Cross; Professor His Honour William Morris, Deputy Chair of the University of Bolton Board of Governors; Bill Webster, Principal of Bolton College; Shauna Morton, Head of Community Investment, Bolton at Home; Paul Heathcote MBE, Restaurateur and Food Consultant; RAF Sergeant Amanda Edwards and organiser Gulnaz Brennan. Special guests included Councillor Hilary Fairclough, Mayor of Bolton.
The mouth-watering dishes that were prepared represented the diverse cultures and cuisines of such places as Georgia, India, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran, Lancashire, Pakistan, Palestine, Scotland, Sudan and many others.
The judges toured the kitchens and were treated to a tantalising, heady mix of delicious aromas as such diverse offerings as Cullen Skink, Chicken Karachi, Lamb Biryani, Spiced Fish Pilaff, Lancashire Hotpot, Khareshteh, Kashke and Dolima and various spicy mixes were prepared. The event was a great success and well attended by people who, like the judges, were more than willing to sample the wonderful gastronomic offerings.
Recipe & Taste category:
Student: Shirin & Nasrin. Community: Temple Group. Business: Jayson Moses
Presentation of Food category:
Student: Ashti Al Jamoor & Shahen Aziz. Community: Irena Avetisova. Business: Dinesh Patel
Paul Heathcote MBE said:
“Food brings everyone together and here we have food from the four corners of the world. I’ve had a wonderful evening at this great event and tasted some very exotic dishes, all brought together here in Bolton.”
Edith Conn OBE said: “I was overwhelmed by this splendid event. So many tastes and cultures and the opportunity to talk to people so knowledgeable about the meal they were preparing and its place in their culture. Stories about food are just as important as the food.
Bill Webster said: “I am delighted as Principal to open Bolton College to this fantastic community event, bringing together the rich diversity of people, cultures and cuisines to be found here in our town.”
Event organiser Gulnaz Brennan said: “This fantastic event was possible with the help and contribution of some amazing people – like Peter Griffiths, Sital Raja-Arjan, Linda Mulvey, Cheryl Lally and Steph Sherratt, to name just a few, as well as a host of other wonderful volunteers. Food brings people together and amazing stories and memories were shared during the course of this project.”