Five contestants braved the weather conditions on the top of the Cotswold to see who could produce the best Game dish cooked over an open fire. The "can do" spirit and amazing bravado shown by the contestants was fantastic.
Despite the most appalling weather last Sunday, 5 hardy outdoor cooks took part in the Kotlich Cooking competition at Newark Park, Ozleworth. The Outdoor Kitchen, in collaboration with the Love Food festival, set up camp on some of the highest ground of the Cotswolds. The challenge, a Game recipe in just 3 hours cooked over an open fire, in the pouring rain. Sounds easy!
Kotlich cooking Competitions are a new phenomenon in the UK. It is an art which tests not only your cooking skills, but also fire management, how you organise your wild kitchen, keeping smiling and cooking despite the worst the British weather can throw at you. The Outdoor kitchen is provided with kiln dried wood from Certainly Wood, Herefordshire, for these competitions and it makes a big difference especially if the weather is bad.
We were delighted to have James Strawbridge, of ITV's Hungry sailors and Saturday Farm, as our judge. He is the ultimate outdoor cook and has also used a Kotlich several times during his cooking adventures on teli. He came with his whole family and spent the day outdoors, chatting with the contestants and finally pronouncing the winner, which he said was not easy.
On Sunday the choice of recipes were amazing, The winner Jozsef Bucsi from Pangbourne, cooked a brilliant Venison and chocolate stew. He called it the Secret Garden, because he served up the stew in a home cooked loaf decorated to look like a garden. Coming a close second were Celia Minoprio's Wild Boar with polenta and Carolyn Chesshire Rabbit Risotto. Pressing on behind were Piete and Rob with Creamy Rabbit with home made spaghetti and Venison and Damson Paprikas. Who would make spaghetti in the middle of a field in the pouring rain? Well done Piete.
If any local food or woodland themed festivals think a Kotlich cooking Competition would work well with their event, do get in touch with the Outdoor Kitchen for further enquiries. We are longing for the Kotlich cooking Competition to get a life of its own and for as many people where ever in the Uk to have the opportunity to take their Kotlich for an outing. You can run your own competition, just contact me for any help. You can advertise it on my site and contestants can even register for the event through my site.
There is a pinterest board with loads more pics of the Kotlich cooking Competition.