Sep 9, 2021
The Home Cook of the Year

Some of the best amateur cooks in Warwickshire will battle it out at one of the county’s biggest food festivals this weekend to be crowned as champion.

The Home Cook of the Year competition is being held at the free Leamington Food and Drink Festival in the Pump Room Gardens on its second day – Sunday September 12 – and the three finalists have been revealed.

The competition is just one attraction at the festival – organised by BID Leamington with the support of local businesses – which is retuning once again after being cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

Abigail Brown, Martyn Jones, and 2019 finalist Laura Noble all qualified for the final after submitting their three-course menus to competition organisers and prominent Leamington butchers, Aubrey Allen.

The three will cook their meals from 1pm on the Sunday, with judging taking place between 2:30 and 3pm.

Aubrey Allen will be supplying short ribs of beef, chicken, and rump of lamb for the finalists to use.

Russell Allen, Managing Director of Aubrey Allen, said: “All three finalists’ menus look absolutely fantastic, and we can’t wait to see what they produce on the day.

“We’re really looking forward to hosting the competition once again this year and being part of such a fantastic festival which celebrates the best of Leamington’s food and drink.”

The festival will be held from 10am to 6pm on Saturday September 11 and Sunday September 12 – and will have a huge range of food and drink from local businesses for visitors to try.

Around 110 exhibitors will be present this year, with Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Caribbean, Mexican, Greek, Mediterranean, Italian, Thai, Spanish, and English cuisines all featuring over the weekend.

Alongside the Home Cook of the Year competition, the Live Kitchen will feature cooking demonstrations from 12 noon on both days, including Zimbabwean creations from Caz Gundu, the perfect pork fillet by Sophie Hyam, and Aubrey Allen butchery school teaching attendees the best way to prepare meat.

The Kids Make and Bake Cookery School will also return, with parents being able to book a spot on the same day for their child from 11am.

And live music from local acts on the bandstand will provide the perfect soundtrack for visitors to enjoy as they eat and drink.

Alison Shaw, BID Project Manager at BID Leamington, said: “It’s not long to go now until the Food Festival returns, and it’s going to be another fantastic event.

“The Home Cook of the Year competition is sure to be a great demonstration of brilliant amateur cooking, and it’ll be fascinating to see who is crowned the winner.

“And the huge variety of exhibitors this year means there’ll be interesting food and drink for everyone to enjoy.

“We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to what is sure to be a fantastic weekend of food, drink, and music.”

For more information on the festival, visit

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