Ben and Eira pair up to win con­test’s culi­nary skills ti­tle

Waipa Post - - The Country - BY CAITLAN JOHN­STON

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).

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