Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall judges the great Beaminster bake-off

Dorset Echo: BAKE WELL: Hugh, centre,  with the winners, from left, Oscar Smoker, Flora Colberd, Louis Jones,  Tibby Morris, Erin Keating and Matthew Webb BAKE WELL: Hugh, centre, with the winners, from left, Oscar Smoker, Flora Colberd, Louis Jones, Tibby Morris, Erin Keating and Matthew Webb

A TOP chef couldn’t believe his mince pies when he was called upon to judge a school’s hotly contested baking competition.

TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall dropped in to get a taste of the platefuls of hundreds of mince pies made for the Beaminster School Association’s Christmas Fair.

And even when confronted with scores of the tasty seasonal treats, he sampled every entry.

“Having Hugh there certainly raised the bar this year,” said BSA member Helen Fisher.

“He took it really seriously, which was lovely and he did genuinely try every single pie – and thankfully he said he really likes mince pies.

“The first one he cut into did have a hair in it – but after that they got better and better!”

“He said he was really impressed by the very high quality and he particularly mentioned how many really good ones there were from the lower school.”

“The BSA would like to thank everyone who supported us by donating bottles and chocolates for the Christmas Fair, and for coming along on Friday night. It was a great evening and we raised lots of money for the school.”

Entrants had to bring a tray of 12 mince pies of any shape or design into school last Friday and all pies were sold in aid of the association at the Christmas Fair in the public hall that evening, for 50p each – and £1 for the winning entries.

Hugh presented each prize winner with a River Cottage gift and the association gave £5 worth of raffle tickets to the Best in Show and Best Presentation winner with a chance to win the star prize of an Apple iPad.

The raffle will be drawn tomorrow, December 13 and envelopes should be returned to the school today to be in with a chance of winning the iPad, £50 or £25 cash or a Bridge House Hotel Voucher.

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