What a final!


We moved away from Duncombe’s annual MasterChef competition this year and held our first ‘Great Duncombe Bake Off’ and wow, what a contest!

The competition has been running throughout the year with heats for both Lower and Upper School running each term. The level of skill and attention to detail was apparent from round 1 when we saw (and tasted) an array of fabulous cupcakes from some of the contestants.

The pressure was on for the final though, with the final 6 given the themes of a Teddy Bears Picnic for Lower School and Upper School, The Mad Hatters Tea Party.

Each child had to make a minimum of 4 items from scratch, with an audience of 16 adults present, in just 3 hours. Not only did they have to think about their baked goods, but also how they would present their creations and none of them disappointed in any area.

We were fortunate enough to have Mrs Cynthia Stroud BEM, owner of Pretty Gorgeous Cakes, Hertford, as one of the judges. Mrs Stroud observed the children and was said to be amazed by the dedication, quality and standard of the entries. After talking to each of the children she commented, ‘I’m staggered by how gifted these children are. I thought I’d find it easy to judge, I was wrong’.

Our other two judges from Thomas Franks Catering were also overjoyed with the level and quality from each of the entries. Mrs Jane Reeves, Catering at Duncombe was ‘thrilled with how much the children had enjoyed the competition and the passion they’d shown’.

But, as in any competition, there could only be one winner for each category. Our Lower School winner made the most wonderful and delicious vintage Victoria sponge cake and our Upper School winner the most incredible theatrical jam tarts.

Head Master Mr Phelan said; ‘I’m immensely proud of the commitment; creativity and skill that all of the children have shown throughout the competition. Well done to everyone for taking part’.

There has been such a buzz surrounding baking around the school this year that as of next term, all children from Duncombe’s Nursery, Treetops, will have cookery included within their curriculum. A brand new kitchen has been installed over in Treetops, which Mrs Stroud opened last week. The children are very excited about starting their baking careers next term.

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