Ben and Eira pair up to win contest’s culinary skills title
Aself-described “useless cook” proved a dab hand with asparagus rolls as he and his cooking teammate won the culinary skills round of the Rural Catch competition.
O¯ haupo¯ farmer Ben Fisher and fellow competitor Eira Lloyd-Forrest prepared a rustic feast of asparagus rolls, meat wraps and salmon crackers. For dessert they made a grand farminginspired birthday cake.
The eight contestants were challenged to partner up and create savoury and sweet dishes that celebrated 50 years of Fieldays for round eight of the competition on Friday.
Brett McGregor, a MasterChef winner, was cohosting the challenge and said this year it was a lot more fired up with the girls on board.
“It’s getting really competitive this year with the girls, they’ve all really raised the bar,” says Brett.
Before the challenge got under way, Ben and Eira looked over the food selection with some trepidation. They suggested that Lilly Newton, another contestant, would probably take the win.
“I’m a bit worried about the cooking challenge, I’m really not a good cook. I better not tell the ladies that,” says Ben.
Despite winning, they did face a few bumps along the way. While Ben quietly cooked away and taste-tested more regularly than expected, Eira had some frosting drama.
At first the frosting was too stiff, but after heating it up the frosting became too runny and sent her cake on a slope. It became the leaning tower of cake.
Brett said it actually worked in her favour after he tasted the cake. He said it had made the cake perfectly moist.
Taking the win was a massive shock to them both, especially Ben who jumped for joy at the announcement.
“I’m in absolute shock, cooking is not my thing at all.”
RURAL Catch culinary skills winner Ben Fisher of O¯ haupo¯ celebrates his victory with teammate Eira Lloyd-Forrest (centre left).