Have you got what it takes to be a Fresh Herb Hero?

10 12 2010

British Herb Trade Association has joined forces with top chef John Torode to launch a search for the nations Herb Hero, which will begin in January 2011.  Here’s what they had to say about the competition:

While much of the food industry has been feeling the pinch during the recession, there is one category which has flourished.  Fresh herbs saw a rise in sales as consumers went ‘back to basics’ and to cooking meals from scratch. However, while one third of us use fresh herbs, that still leaves many who do not.  The British Herb Trade Association has joined forces with top chef John Torode, to launch a nationwide cookery competition in a bid to help change this.

For thousands of years, herbs have been used to add flavour and aroma to a wide range of dishes and have long been known for their health properties.  They can transform the most ordinary meals into something extraordinary.  And now The British Herb Trade Association is launching a search for ‘the nation’s Herb Heroes;’ looking for incredible food from real people, who are transforming everyday meals with fresh herbs. So if you love food, love cooking and want to share your innovative herb recipes with the nation, or simply relish the idea of showing off your culinary expertise, this is your chance to shine.

Leon Mundey of the British Herb Trade Association says: “We’re always on the lookout for new and exciting fresh herb recipes.  Perhaps you have a great family recipe which has been handed down through the generations or just love to come up with new ideas. We believe that when it comes to cooking, Britain really has got talent. So whether you love cooking, love fresh herbs, or think you can give Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson a run for their money, we’d love you to enter the competition.  If you don’t like being the star of the show, then we urge you to log on to fresh-herbs.co.uk and simply vote for your favourites.”

John Torode, chef and restaurateur says: “This is a great competition for people who love cooking and who understand the importance of using fresh herbs to transform ordinary meals into something really special.  The best chefs know that fresh is best and herbs are no exception. Fresh herbs can elevate recipes to something really extraordinary.  The balance of herbs in a recipe can make or break a dish with the correct combination exuding taste, freshness, flavour and aroma.”

To enter, simply create a home-video of yourself cooking up your creation.  You can record your demonstration on a mobile phone, camera or camcorder. Then go to http://www.fresh-herbs.co.uk/competition to follow instructions to upload it from January 2011.  Videos should be no longer than 4 minutes and all entrants must be UK residents. Entrants will be judged by both the public and the competition organisers, according to their cooking skills, recipe, competence in the kitchen, but also their star quality as a presenter.  Most importantly we want to see enthusiasm for food and great use of fresh herbs.

If you don’t have access to the internet, simply send your herb recipe and a picture of the finished dish, along with your contact details to HERB HEROES, Mustard Communications, 5th Floor, Regal House, 70 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 3QS.

The top three entrants will be invited to the cook off in London as well as being treated to a 2 night stay in London for themselves and a guest, with the overall winner picking up the top prize of £2,500.

There is also a junior category for budding chefs aged 7-16 years.

So if you think you can make a meal of herbs, turn up the heat and get cooking!  The competition opens in January 2011 and all entries must be uploaded by Friday 6th May 2011, with the cook off taking place on Tuesday 24th May 2011 in London.