ARE you a talented home chef? Do you know someone who is a whizz in the kitchen? Here is a culinary opportunity you won't want to miss. Enter yourself – or a friend – into a Brend Hotels Ready, Steady, Cook style competition and you could find yourself rustling up something gorgeous, live on stage, as part of the North Devon Foodfest.
Two winners, chosen from nominees entering on our website, will get to share the stage with Brend Hotels chefs Dez Turland and Stuart White in a dramatic cook off.
"We are looking for anyone – not just chefs – who loves food, enjoys cooking and has a great sense of humour, to be part of the challenge," said Dez Turland, development chef at Saunton Sands Hotel.
On the day, the two winners will be given a small budget to buy local produce from Foodfest. They will then be asked to help either Dez or Stuart create some fantastic culinary delights.
But will the two chefs go easy on their chosen assistants? "Of course not," laughs Dez. "It will be a highly pressurised intense cookery competition, like being in the kitchen with Gordon Ramsey and Marco Pierre White!"
Audience members will, no doubt, see some keen rivalry between Dez and Stuart, the latter being head chef at the Victoria Hotel in Sidmouth.
"Although we both work for Brend Hotels, it's North Devon versus South Devon," he says. "So I strongly ask anyone from North Devon to turn up in their masses and support this event.
"It's going to be a really entertaining hour of cookery knowledge, tips, fun and laughter, the perfect way to end what is becoming a regular date in North Devon's diary. Along with the presence of ITV's Seth Conway it will be great entertainment."
Although Dez regularly chefs under pressure, he doesn't underestimate the challenge of cooking with unknown ingredients live on stage.
"Cooking is always a test of your culinary skills, even more so when you haven't a clue what ingredients you have to cook with, or what you're cooking," he says.
It's not the first time he's taken part in a Ready, Steady, Cook style challenge. At last year's Plymouth Flavourfest, he shared the stage with chef Richard Hunt, comedian Brian Conley and DJ Gordon Sparks.
"Please nominate yourselves or someone you think has the character to be part of our Ready, Steady, Cook, and have a chance of sharing an hour of fun and mayhem," he adds.
"More importantly, it's an opportunity of being involved in North Devon's biggest and best food festival."
This year's North Devon Foodfest promises to be bigger than before, with more producers, more food stalls and a new location within the Queen's Theatre for the chef's stage.
There will be cookery demonstrations throughout the day from Mark Dodson of the Mason Arms, Knowstone, Thomas Carr of the Kentisbury Grange, Richard Hunt of the Devon Scone Company, and from top chef Michael Caines of Abode Hotels and Gidleigh Park.
"I suggest cancel any other arrangements you may have made for Sunday, October 20 and come and join us at the Pannier Market in Barnstaple for a day full of entertainment, where you can meet the real hero's of North Devon Food, the producers, farmers and fishermen."
Nominations for the Brend Hotels Ready, Steady, Cook style competition in the Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple on Sunday, October 20, 2.30pm (winners will be introduced on stage at 1.15pm) take place below.
Please name your nominee and explain in 50 words why you think they should help with the cooking, live on stage at Foodfest. The deadline for entries is October 11, 2013.
Winners will be chosen by chefs Dez Turland and Stuart White. The two winners will be announced in Journal2 on October 17.