A new baking princess was crowned at the Sheridan’s Cheesemonger’s Irish Food Festival last week, and given her tender age, her reign could be a long one.
Ten-year-old Antoinette Reilly, from Leitrimcoolarty, on the outskirts of Granard, entered her mouth-watering wheat-free brown bread into a baking competition for Under 21s at the County Meath-based event, which drew thousands of foodies to its picturesque surrounds.
Antoinette surprised the panel of three judges and fellow competitors by the quality of her culinary creation, scooping first place in the competition, which required bakers to use only traditional, Irish ingredients in making brown bread.
Antoinette was presented with her rosette by the main judge, Ella McSweeney and the ‘Ear to the Ground’ presenter enthused how innovative Antoinette’s bread was, given that young people are increasingly seeking alternatives to wheat products.
Rumour has it that if the Aughnagharron National School pupil was permitted to enter the senior competition, she could have challenged for prizes there, too.
It was not to be however as the talented north Longford schoolgirl had to make do with the top prize in the U21 category.
That said Antoinette fended off a string of other aspiring bakers to claim her prize and stamp her name down as one to be reckoned with in the future.
Antoinette, whose hero is Blacklion celebrity chef Neven Maguire, only took up baking in recent years, so this win might mark the start of something special.