Suffolk: The counties answer to the Great British Bake Off

Now that the festive season is just a memory it’s time to set your sights on new challenges for the coming year. What could be better than improving your cooking skills and donating to a good cause at the same time?

It’s time to join the fun of the Great Suffolk Bake Off.

If you love the hit BBC series Great British Bake Off – and, let’s face it, who doesn’t? – then this is the competition for you.

The search is on to find Suffolk’s best amateur bakers and a “Signature Bake” the county can be proud of – and it’s all in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice.

I was thrilled to be invited to be a judge for the contest, which will be run over three heats, culminating in a grand final.

Anyone – from aspiring bakers to those who just enjoy cooking cakes with their children – can enter their favourite bake in a range of categories for sweet and savoury treats.

The first heat will take place at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich on January 19, followed by further heats at Lowestoft on February 2 and Bury St Edmunds on February 23. Each starts at midday and finishes at 2pm.

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There will be sweet and savoury categories and prizes for adult bakers and those under 16. Winners will be invited to participate in March’s grand final.

Each bake will be savoured by a panel of expert judges who will be looking for a tasty dish representing the theme “Suffolk”: an iconic bake which celebrates our county through the use of one or two locally-sourced ingredients or in its theme or presentation.

I am one of a panel of judges, which includes restaurant owner Regis Crepy (Mariners, The Great House), Chris Lee (head chef at the award-winning Bildeston Crown) and qualified cookery judge Jane Sago from the Suffolk East Federation of Women’s Institutes.

We are joined by local media personalities Lesley Dolphin (BBC Suffolk) and Jayne Lindill (Suffolk Magazine).

Penny Arbuthnot, director of organisers Genesis PR, says: “The idea for The Great Suffolk Bake Off is a response to the terrific BBC series and, who knows, we may even be able to identify an iconic Suffolk bake and the talent which will help put Suffolk further on the map for great local food.

“The team is looking forward to having lots of fun whilst raising much-needed funds for the outstanding work of St Elizabeth Hospice.”

Chris Lee, from the Bildeston Crown, said: “We all know of someone who has been touched by the great work of St Elizabeth Hospice and as a long-term supporter of the charity the Bildeston Crown is delighted to be involved in the Great Suffolk Bake Off.”

Prizes include a night at the Bildeston Crown; dinner, bed and breakfast for two at the Great House, Lavenham; dinner for two at either Maison Bleue or Mariners; a tour of BBC TV studios in Norwich; �25 iTunes vouchers; a case of Greene King IPA and a box of Cupcake Experience cupcakes.

To find out more, and to register to take part, visit or telephone Genesis PR on 01473 326403.

Offers of help or donations of prizes are welcomed. You can follow all the news on Twitter @GenesisPRuk and use #suffolkbakeoff

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