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Cheese graters at the ready...

Cheese graters at the ready...

The Royal Bath & West Show became the stage for the live 2014 Barber’s 1833 Best Ever Toastie cook off.

Audience members at the Bath & West demonstration kitchen were prepared for a tough battle and the tension could be cut with a cheese knife. Several audience members were carefully selected to perform the challenging (and rather enviable) role of tasting and judging the crisply toasted, hot and molten, 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar-packed entries.

The seven finalists were all food bloggers and cheese lover’s from around the UK. They had each been required to create and cook their most amazing cheese toastie using Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar. Inspiration was sought globally with entries combining chillies, mango chutney and cumin, as well as more familiar ingredients from closer to home, including smoked mackerel, streaky bacon and watercress.

After all the entries had been devoured and the judges and the judges had given their scores, a winner was selected. And the winner of the 2014 Barber’s 1833 Best Ever Toastie Challenge was...

Jane Tingle (fromagehomage.co.uk, @fromhomage) with her classic, mouth-watering combination of Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, bacon lardons, onion marmalade and watercress.

A special mention goes to Urvashi Roe (thebotanicalbaker.wordpress.com, @BotanicalBaker) who produced a fabulously exotic toastie packed with grated Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, green mango chutney, green chillies, coriander and cumin. Although some of the judges were less keen on chilli, the Barber family thought it was delicious and really interesting.

‘We’ve had such a fun day and the awards have been a huge success’ said Nicky Barber, one of the oldest members of the Barber Family. ‘My only disappointment was being disqualified for being an insider! My Barber’s 1833, Worcestershire Sauce and white bread toastie is still the best if you ask me!’

The awards will be held again in 2015. Keep following our blog for more information on how to enter.

Other 2014 entries:

Caroline Taylor (allthatimeating.blogspot.co.uk, @allthatimeating) - Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, smoked ham, mustard.

Nicola Fowers (cherrapeno.com, @cherrapeno)- Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, red onion & chili jam, button mushroom.

Victoria Welton (www.vevivos.com, @VicWelton) - grated Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, smoked mackerel, double cream, coriander.

Lynn Fancy (lemonscake.co.uk) - Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, Pink Lady apples, bacon.

Dawn Walsh (echoesfrommyweb.blogspot.co.uk) - Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, chicken, streaky bacon, onion relish.