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Millington scoops ECGC Baking Competition top spot for second time

Millington scoops ECGC Baking Competition top spot for second time

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With her delicious creations of Herb and Garlic cupcakes and Whole Wheat With a Twist cake, Zoe Millington has nabbed the top spot in the 2015 East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) Baking Competition.

Being adjudged the overall winner, Millington walked away{{more}} with a plaqueand $3,000; while Joanne Layne and Anna Phillips had to settle for the second and third prize, respectively.

Millington, who previously won the competition in 2013, said that not winning last year was the impetus she needed to come even better this year and her hard work has paid off.

“I feel great!” she enthused. “Last year was motivation… so I pushed even harder this year. I tried to have something new that nobody has seen before.”

In addition to taking the top spot, Millington, the proprietor of Cannon Cakes, also placed first in the Specialty section ($400), and second ($350) in the Cake section.

She said that this win only serves to spur her on to further improve her skills and her small business producing cakes and cupcakes.

“I just want to develop that, see where it goes.”

Second place winner Joanne Layne, of Ultra Marine (Mustique), won $2,000, and also bagged first prize ($400) in the Cake section with her ‘Ginger Tea’ red velvet coconut cake. Third place winner Anna Phillips, of Phillips Bakery and Anna’s Cakes, took home $1,000, and also placed second ($350) in the Specialty section, with Lemongrass Rosemary Fusion.

In the Bread section, first prize ($400) went to Nikita Bynoe, who made a mango banana bread, and second prize ($350) was taken by Nishia Antoine, who made a cheesy dasheen bread.

In the Pastry section, Janine John was awarded first prize ($400) for her cherry wheat coconut shots, and Kezz Small, a student of the Dr JP Eustace Secondary School won second prize ($350) for his wax apple and plumrose pie.

Of the 30 participants in this year’s competition, there were six students – an element first introduced last year as part of ECGC’s commitment to Home Economics within the local education system.

Of the student participants, Alana Blondel, of the West St George Secondary School, took first prize ($300), and Kezz Small, of the Dr JP Eustace Secondary School took second ($200).

Blondel, who is 17 years old, was excited by her win, saying that she had not expected it as it was her first time taking part in the competition. She has ambitions of becoming an “all-rounder” chef.

Ali Medjahed, a baking consultant for ECGC and also the head judge in the competition, said that he was impressed with the high standard of the entries this year, and especially pleased with the student participation.

“The great future is in our youngsters. We should all believe that!” he enthused, encouraging them to continue developing their skills.

He further said that his career as a baker takes him around the region, and he is of the strong opinion that local bakers stand out.

“Our standard of baking in St Vincent is extremely high… we’re talking quality, ability of producing items…”

Minister of Agriculture, Industry, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation Saboto Caesar also congratulated all the participants, expressing how impressed he was with the baked goods entered this year.

Caesar reminded the participants that goods produced in SVG need not only be available for Vincentians; they can also be exported regionally, as there is a large market available to them.

He further pointed out that the impending opening of the Argyle international airport will also bring new opportunities to local small businesses, so business owners need to familiarize themselves with international standards, and apply them to their own business operations.

He also added: “I really want our local entrepreneurs to utilize the raw material being produced as a significant ingredient in your businesses. I know that there is a growing trend today towards using composite flour [made from ingredients other than wheat]… This is definitely a step in the right direction; however, the volumes and quantities that they are able to produce would be limited… I would love to see a marriage, where we use at least a percentage of flour produced from locally produced raw material.”

Brief remarks were also delivered by ECGC chief executive officer Osmond Davy and marketing manager Rachel Haslam.(JSV)

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