WHEN it comes to preserving family recipes, Isabell Neill has the winning formula.
The Western Australia resident has been crowned this year’s winner of the Bethanie Bake-Off for her homemade cauliflower mustard pickle.
Isabell, who is a client at Bethanie’s Living Well Centre in Kwinana, scooped the coveted top prize at the intergenerational cooking contest, which is hotly contested every year and organised by aged care and retirement living organisation Bethanie.
She’s been making pickles for everyone in her family since first coming across the recipe in the early ‘70s.
The highly-prized preserved cauliflower condiment has since become a family favourite and Isabell said she’s often asked when she’s making another batch.
The contest saw four finalists from the senior and junior categories cook their favourite family recipe.
It’s wonderful to hear the stories of where each recipe came from and to feel the excitement from the contestants as they get their chance to shine on stage.
Tom Rechichi from St Anthony’s School in Greenmount won the Best Student Award for his gnocchi, while the Best Senior Award went to Joan Edmonds who attends Bethanie’s Mount Claremont Living Well Centre. Joan cooked her mum’s patty cakes to take out the prize.
Bethanie chief executive Chris How was on the judging panel. “It’s wonderful to hear the stories of where each recipe came from and to feel the excitement from the contestants as they get their chance to shine on stage,” he said.
Also making it to the finals was chief executive of Braemar Presbyterian Care, Wayne Belcher, who impressed judges with his crepe-making prowess.
Wayne began making crepes as pastor at Lake Joondalup Baptist Church, providing meals and respite for local police and emergency services when major music events were on.
“As well as providing a much-needed sausage sizzle, I helped make around 500 crepes for staff,” he said. “This has become something I now do reasonably often for my own family.”
Wayne, who was chief executive of Bethanie for almost two decades, said being acknowledged as a finalist was the “icing on the cake…or should I say the maple syrup on the crepe!”