The runner-up in of the previous Home Cook of the Year competition at the Leamington Food and Drink Festival has 'rumped' to victory at this year's event
Laura Noble, who lives in Earlsdon, Coventry, was praised by all three judges – including Michelin-starred Paul Foster from Salt in Stratford – for the consistent high standard across all three of the courses she produced in the competition.
After just missing out last time in 2019 and having to wait for two years because of Covid, Laura finally got her hands on the prize.
Laura, who works at Coventry University, produced a starter of baked Roquefort cheesecake with figs and balsamic onions on beetroot carpaccio, followed by herb-studded rump of lamb, warm vinaigrette, Mediterranean polenta batons, mascarpone cream and portobello mushrooms.
These were rounded off with a white chocolate and coconut mousse with pineapple compote and pistachio crescents.
Laura said: “I came so close last time that I had to give it a another go.
"To be honest I found this more daunting as I knew what was coming my way, but I was pleased with what I produced.
“I had a bit of panic as I cook with gas at home and the demonstration ovens were induction which can be a bit temperamental, but it all came good in the end.
“My family have had to eat so much lamb rump in recent weeks they will be happy not to see another piece of it for quite a while
Of the three finalists this year, Abi Brown from Nuneaton was second and Martyn Jones from Kenilworth came in third.
A capacity audience watched the event, which took place on Sunday September 12 - the second day of the festival.
Russell Allen, managing director of Aubrey Allen, which sponsors the competition and chair of the judges, said Laura had produced restaurant-quality food.
“It is really about consistency across the three courses and although it was close run contest, Laura showed fantastic technique throughout and her food was very impressive,” he said.
“To produce food of that standard under this sort of pressure when you are a home cook really is some feat.
“It was so good to see so many people out and about today and I was so delighted that the traders will have done well after what has been such a tough time. It was good for the festival to be back.”
The third judge was Sean Hughes – the man who had pipped Laura to the title in 2019.
The two-day outdoor festival is organised by BID Leamington with the support of local businesses.
For out picture gallery and report on the food festival click here.