IT WAS mixing bowls at 10 paces at Walcha on the weekend as the town gathered for the Great Walcha Cook-Off.
A big crowd gathered on Saturday to check out the action, as two teams of four – one all-female team led by Walcha Shire Council mayor Janelle Archdale and a team of blokes headed by Presbyterian minister David Burge and including Aussie actor and singer Ben Mingay of Channel 10’s Wonderland fame.
Walcha’s Cathy Lisle, currently starring on Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules with daughter Anna, co-compered the event with Walcha Show Society president Ross King.
Each team had 40 minutes to prepare entree and main dishes for the judges, with a selection of mystery ingredients generously provided by stallholders who participate in the local farmers’ markets.
The event was organised by the farmers’ markets committee in conjunction with Walcha Tourism and the show society.
Committee member Paula Jenkins described it as a huge success, with plenty of laughs, tips for the teams from Mrs Lisle and even some good old-fashioned bribery spicing up the contest.
In the end, though, there can only be one winner and on the day the boys’ team of Reverend Burge, Ben Mingay, Andrew “Coog” Cross and Angus Kirton came out the victors.
Cr Archdale’s team of Sally McCormack, Rachael Laurie and Miss Walcha Showgirl Cecilia Oppenheimer battled hard, but the wine and chocolate bribes just weren’t enough to get them over the line.