Tesco Cook-off

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I’ve done a few odd things in the name of mummy blogging – hiding round the back of a hotel in Barcelona cackling with laughter at 3am and eating a top chef’s tomato ketchup gateau spring to mind – but Sunday’s was probably up there with the most unusual. I was a stunt taster and judge at the Tesco Real Food Challenge cook-off.

The venue was the prestigious Leith’s cookery school in the wilds of Hammersmith. My satnav, voiced by the lovely Irish Sean, almost said ‘where?!?’ when I keyed in the co-ordinates. We rarely stray North of the river, you see. But in fact it was a breeze to get there. As soon as I arrived, I felt I was the only person in the building who had rocked up without a clipboard, an earpiece and a massive sense of purpose. I think telly is like that.

Oh, didn’t I mention it was all going to be on telly? It’s not a case of modesty – it’s just that I won’t be appearing on your screens. The show will be on Channel 5 later this year, with the talent provided by Lisa Faulkner, Celebrity Masterchef winner, and rugby superstar Matt Dawson,who managed to look thoroughly macho even when wearing foundation (for the cameras). They prowled around looking tremendously glamorous while the contestants cooked up a storm and the cameras and sound men buzzed around the scene like persistant flies.

Once the cooking and the televised eating were over (lots of shots of the gorgeous Lisa chewing ecstatically), Claire from Being a Mummy and I stepped in to do our bit, which was the point at which we were handed our own clipboards, yay! We then had to mark all the contestants’ efforts out of ten on taste, presentation, inspiration and perspiration, except not that last one. It was amazing how the contestants’ dishes varied and how unreliable appearance could be. Some of the dishes looked great but tasted like something I’d cooked myself in a very off moment. Some were absolutely delicious. And one was totally inedible.

No, I’m not telling you who made what, and I’m certainly not going to tell you who won. You’ll just have to watch the show!

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