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Ten-year-old takes out Bethanie’s biggest Bake Off 2016

From traditional bush damper to Oma’s special pancakes and everything in between, a Western Australia provider’s Big Bake Off attracted over 100 entries from participants as young as 10 up to experienced 80-year-old cooks.

Bethanie CEO Chris How, 2016 Big Bethanie Bake Off champion Joshua Wenz
Bethanie CEO Chris How, 2016 Big Bethanie Bake Off champion Joshua Wenz

Now in its third year, the Big Bethanie Bake Off was initially organised with the aim of helping close the ever-increasing intergenerational gap between seniors and youngsters.  Over the past few weeks, school children and Bethanie residents have been forwarding their family recipe, accompanied by a story reflecting their family’s life, culture and history hoping to win one of the prizes up for grabs.  

At the grand final event held recently, the four finalists from each of the seniors and under 18s categories cooked their favourite family recipe in front of Bethanie residents, clients, friends, family and staff.

West Australian Chef and MC, Don Hancey hosted the event and the panel of judges included Margaret Johnson, Food Contributor for The West Australian, Patrick O’Brien, Executive Director Hospitality and Trades West Coast Institute and Chris How, Bethanie Chief Executive Officer.

Bake Off judges Patrick O'Brien, Chris How, Margaret Johnson

Mr How had predicted the winners were going to be very hard to select, but he hadn’t anticipated just how hard it would be. “The skill, enthusiasm and commitment each finalist displayed was unlike anything we have seen before,” says Mr How.

Winners of the 2016 Big Bethanie Bake Off are:

  • Best Senior Award – Marjorie Ugle, 71, Bethanie Maali Social Centre – Kangaroo Patties
    “I love making these tasty patties for everyone and still use wild red onions from the bush, and different plants to give the patties flavour. We used eat them with damper and even cooked them over a fire in the bush, no ovens, measuring cups and fridges,” says Ms Ugle.

  • Best Kid Award – Mikayla Richardson, 11, Orana Catholic Primary School – Melanzane Con Salsa
    Ms Richardson says her recipe has been handed down through the generations from my great, great Nonna and was given to my Grandma Christine by my great Nonna Teresa Scali.

  • 2016 Big Bethanie Bake Off Champion – Joshua Wenz, 10, Whitfords Catholic Primary School – Oma’s Pancakes 2 Ways
    “I love cooking like my Oma where most of the time things aren’t measured in cups and teaspoons, it’s measured by taste and texture,” says Mr Wenz.
Best Kid Award winner Mikayla Richardson

All finalist recipes together with their stories have been compiled into a booklet which also includes recipes and family stories from Mr How, Rayne Embley a blogger, restaurateur, mother of three and wife to West Coast Eagles great, Andrew Embley, and Anna Gare, popular Australian chef, author and TV personality, hosting programs including The Great Australian Bake Off and Junior Masterchef.

The grand final Bake Off was held at Burswood Park at the Seniors Recreational Council of WA’s Have a Go Day, a LiveLighter event. Visitors enjoyed learning about an array of activities ranging from canoeing and woodturning to Nordic walking and IT as well as find out about services for seniors from a wide variety of providers.

As well as seeing Bethanie’s Biggest Bake off, visitors to the Bethanie stand enjoyed a free sausage sizzle and other entertainment.

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