Last year’s High Sheriff, Robin Courage, came up with the fantastic idea to celebrate Island life by holding an annual Isle of Wight Day. As part of these celebrations, and to showcase our wonderful food and culinary talent, local councilor Julie Jones-Evans teamed up with Paul Buckland at the Isle of Wight Technical College to launch The Gurt Cook Off. Well, Isle of Wight Day was so successful it has now turned into a weekend-long (22-24 September) celebration of all that is good and magical on the island and the cook-off returns!
‘We are really pleased to announce the return of The Gurt Cook Off as part of the Isle of Wight day fun. It’s simply an enjoyable and creative way to get our award-winning Isle of Wight produce in the spotlight. We’re also delighted to welcome Robin Courage as one of the judges!’ says Julie
The format is much the same as Ready Steady Cook; 4 talented chefs choose from a range of produce kindly donated by Island suppliers and have 90 minutes to prepare a 2-course meal. Catering students act as commis chefs, giving them an opportunity to work alongside some of the best chefs on the Island. The winner last year was Jo Boswell from The Garlic Farm. Jo wowed judges with her totally vegetarian menu and she will come back this year to defend her title.
The event will take place at the Isle of Wight College on Monday 25th September and will be broadcast live on social media. A selection of recipes will be available to download. The Isle of Wight College is passionate about developing the culinary talents of young islanders and offers a vast range of professional cooking courses.
‘The students had a brilliant time last year and really benefited from working with professional chefs in a pressured environment – this is just the type of thing that inspires our young people and we look forward to it becoming an annual event,’ says Paul
The Gurt Cook Off has received support from local suppliers including Cheverton Farm Beef, Briddlesford Farm, Wight Salads, Isle of Wight Cheese Company, Hamilton’s Fine Food, Wild Foods, Farmer Jacks, The Mushroom Farmer, Farmhouse Fayre and Taste of the Wight to name a few
Gurt is an Isle of Wight word often use to mean ‘great’ as in big or large
Pictures: GCO 1 Julie Jones-Evans GCO 2 Tim Morgan
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