WIRRAL BAKERS have proved they have the recipe for success.
Two Wirral-based bakeries won top prizes at the Fine Food Awards 2011, which celebrate the best fine foods in the north west.
This year’s honours saw nearly 400 products, entered by 132 companies from across Merseyside, judged by a panel of food experts.
Celebrity chef, Nigel Haworth announced the winners at his Fantastic Food Show at Ewood Park, Blackburn.
Gorge’Us cafe, based in Bebington, won two Food NW Gold Heart Awards for its Victoria sponge and raspberry and almond tart.
The other winning company, Little Eye Bakery in West Kirby, took home two Food NW Heart Awards for its Russian sourdough rye bread and its omega sourdough.
Gorge’Us owner Ceri Newton has now won a top region award for the second year running.
Ceri specialises in homemade cakes and is passionate about traditional baking.
Ceri says the secret to her success with her winning Victoria sponge lies in starting out with a basic recipe and then tweaking it until it is perfect.
Her winning raspberry and almond tart started life as a Bakewell tart and then she was inspired to use fresh raspberries and to glaze the top.
Ceri says: “This is good, old fashioned baking. All of our cakes are handmade, not mass produced, and lots of love goes into each and every item. It is real comfort food and brings back fond food memories for many people.
“We are delighted to win as it is high time that baking and cakes got the recognition they deserve. It is great to gain the appreciation of your peers and the judges – especially as I have no formal training and hearing praise from the chefs means a huge amount. It boosts our confidence in what we are doing and is a great opportunity for us to spread our message further afield.”
Since Ceri opened her cafe three and a half years ago, the company has expanded, with the recent addition of a new retail outlet. Gorge’Us employs 12 members of staff and is also growing in the wholesale side of business.
Pat Foreman, chief executive of Food NW, said: “We have been delighted with the response to this year’s awards.
“Our winners have excelled themselves and yet again, the awards have shown the wonderful array of fine foods produced in the region.”