Results & photos: The Great Brighton Bake Off 2013

July 1st, 2013

The inaugural Great Brighton Bake Off took place at Picnic In The Park 2013 on Sunday, June 30. There were 30 entrants in the youth (under 16) category, and 18 entrants in the adults competition. The entries were judged by Kevin Oliver, Head Chef of Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Brighton. Once the winners had been announced, the public were invited to enjoy a slice of the winning cakes, resulting in the first recorded cake riot in Queen’s Park (details below).


The Great Brighton Bake Off: Prizes for the best cakes

The Great Brighton Bake Off: Prizes for the best cakes


The judging of each entry was meticulous and professional, with due consideration given to style and appearance, texture, consistency, moistness and overall balance of flavours. There were some magnificently well presented cakes, but the chef was not judging on appearance alone: he was looking for the complete package that combined both style and substance.


A competitor arriving: careful!

The task of judging the cakes took over an hour, with our chef testing nearly 45 cakes for taste and consistency, assisted by event organiser Nicky Bullock of Friends Of Queens Park.


Ken Oliver in action: it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Nicky Bullock (left)


Ken Oliver in action: no cake was left unturned


Ken Oliver in action: Style? Or substance?

Eventually, after much deliberating, the white clouds of icing sugar went up and the winners were announced. Starting with the Childrens Under 16s category, and in reverse order:


LIBERTY TANNER, Lemon & poppy seed cake, 3rd place, Kid’s competition, The Great Brighton Bake Off 2013


You can see Liberty Tanner’s lemon & poppy seed cake, back/centre, to the right of the brownies.


MATHILDA DE BROEKERT’s chocolate orange cheese cake, 2nd place, Kid’s category, The Great Brighton Bake Off


OLIVIA SWEENEY, chocolate cake, 1st place, Kid’s competition, The Great Brighton Bake Off 2013


The winning cake: Olivia Sweeney’s chocolate cake, 1st place, Kid’s competition, The Great Brighton Bake Off 2013

The secret was in the tasting, according to our judge. Olivia’s beautifully presented chocolate cake scored very highly as a lovely light lucious delectable cake. On to the adult category:


LYNDA WEBB, cherry sponge cake surprise, with just a hint of kirsch, 3rd place, The Great Brighton Bake Off 2013


Lynda Webb’s Cherry and Rosemary cake, with a dash of Kirsch


MICHELLE FOX, strawberry and almond cake, 2nd place, The Great Brighton Bake Off 2013


TOM CASE-HARCOURT, chocolate coffee cake, 1st place, The Great Brighton Bake Off 2013

Chef Kevin Oliver was in raptures over Tom’s entry, which he described as ‘absolutely to the highest professional standard’, adding that it scored highly for feel and consistency (it sliced well and didn’t fall apart), with a winning flavour combination – altogether, a beautifully balanced and satisfying cake, and a worthy winner of the first Great Brighton Bake Off.


THE WINNING CAKE: Tom Case-Harcourt’s divine chocolate coffee cake. Sorry – it’s all been eaten

The opportunity to sample the finest baking in Queen’s Park, at a generous £1 per slice, proved an overwhelming temptation for the crowds at Picnic In The Park. Sharp elbows and a firm eye the prize proved vital assets.


The Great Brighton Bake Off Riot of 2013


I can resist anything, except temptation


Sandra Magson (left) and Randi Belgrove (centre), of Friends Of Queen’s Park, struggling with demand


Patient, but determined to enjoy the fruits of The Great Brighton Bake Off

Many thanks to organisers Nicky Bullock, with Randi Belgrove, Sandra Magson and Guy Smyth, all of The Friends Of Queen’s Park. Many thanks also to Roger De Casanove from The Brighton Brownie Company for providing gift wrapped prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

We hope you enjoyed the Bake Off. Do let us know what you think, and how this delicious and successful event could be improved for next year. You can see more pictures of all the entries on the Friends Of Queens Park Facebook page.