Can they cook as well as they report?

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Cookery course Reading Berkshire News, c

Can they cook as well as they report?

L'Ortolan Charity Cookery Challenge

Every week around Berkshire people read or listen to their work. They help form public opinion, they inform, advise and entertain. but can they cook?

L'Ortolan set the local press a challenge, inviting them to show off their culinary flair in the Demonstration Studio and offering £1000 for charity for the winning team.

Six local reporters accepted the challenge and, on the 9th June, donned their aprons.

L'Ortolan Charity Cookery Challenge restaurant Reading

The Teams The Purple Team:

  • Nick Williams
  • Richard Reed
  • Jacky Hayler

The White Team:

  • Tessa Harris
  • Hilary Scott
  • Rebecca Johnson 

Teams were picked at random - some competitor papers had to work together, others had the chance to face their competitors in a direct cook-off.

Together the teams worked their way through the preparation of a three-course meal. Guided by L'Ortolan Head Chef Elliott Lidstone the reporters, editors and broadcasters rolled fresh pasta, prepared a fish, and sweated over whether their desserts would rise.

L'Ortolan Charity Cookery Challenge restaurant Reading

After much clattering of pans, and careful tutoring from Elliott, the teams were able to tuck in to their stuffed tortellini starter, pan-fried sea-bream main, and lemon curd (white team) or raspberry jam (purple team) souffles for dessert.

With a £1000 charity donation up for grabs, competition was fierce. Elliott had a hard time selecting a winning team but finally declared the White Team victorious with their superior souffles.

Rebecca Johnson, Hillary Scott and Tessa Harris decided to split their winnings between three separate charities: Sebastian's Action Trust, The Robbie the Robot Appeal and Thames Hospice Care.

A week later representatives from the three charities delightedly came to L'Ortolan to be presented their cheques by restaurant owner Peter Newman.

"It's important for us at L'Ortolan to be able to give back something back to the local community. Our Charity Cooking Challenge in our demonstration studio was the perfect vehicle for us to do that," explains Peter. "We're delighted to be able to support these three worthy local charities."


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