A Warninglid woman who had never eaten cheesecake before let alone made one was declared the winner in an annual competition specialising in the dessert in West Sussex today (Sunday).
Melanie Whitehall won first prize in the contest - held at the Half Moon in Warninglid - which raises money for Shooting Star Chase.
Despite tough competition from 15 other chefs, Melanie was crowned cheesecake queen after judges deliberated over the appearance and taste of each pudding.
Her presentation was deemed to be particularly original - rather than the traditional round cheesecake it was offered in individual cubes on a wooden platter.
Afterwards she explained why.
“I only entered after a bet with my husband and I only made it yesterday evening!” she admitted. “It didn’t look very good round the edges so I decided to cut it into pieces to make it look better.”
Organised by Alice Chambers for the seventh year, the contest has grown in popularity and judges included Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames.
Alice said the event had once again proved a huge success with more than £1,000 raised for the charity. In fact, so many people turned up to buy slices of the shortlisted cheesecakes that for the first year they actually sold out.
To satisfy demand, Alice even cracked open her own cheesecake not entered for the event.
Nicholas Soames is a huge fan of the contest having attended every year - but this was the first occasion he had joined the judging panel. “I always look forward to it. There has been a very high standard this year. Very hard to judge actually but we have a very worthy winner.”
For more details of this great competition along with the names of the other judges read this week’s Mid Sussex Times, West Sussex County Times and West Sussex Gazette.
And stay tuned to this website for video of the great annual event too.