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Members' News – August 2017

Orlando Murrin (24/08/2017)

Photograph of Mary-Anne BoermansSophie Coe Prize Winner 2017 Announced

Guild member Mary-Anne Boermans’s essay ‘Life of Pikelet’ has won the Sophie Coe Prize in Food History 2017. Having impressed the judges in this hugely acclaimed competition, Mary-Anne scooped the first prize in an impressive field of 22 contenders including previous winner Anthony Buccini.

Her essay centred on an investigation of the difference between a ‘crumpet’ and a ‘pikelet’ and led her on an international journey through time, addressing the criteria necessary to answer what is no simple question.

The judges commended her for ‘originality’, ‘thoroughness of research’ and ‘lucidity of explanation’ before awarding her this year’s prize of £1,500.

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Mridula’s products and YouTube

Mridula Baljekar has launched her own range of products from Mridula’s Kitchen Limited. Currently she has four varieties of spiced chutneys in the range and is working on dry spice blends, spice pastes and marinades. Her Spiced Tomato Chutney has won a gold star at the 2017 Great Taste Awards. Currently they are available in speciality deli stores in Windsor and Eton, but she hopes to launch them in some prestigious London stores in 2018.

Mridula has also launched her own channel, Mridula’s Kitchen, on YouTube. The recipes are based on her forthcoming ebook Spice of Life which focuses on the healing properties of spices. Mridula’s Kitchen Season 1 is being well-received and Season 2 will be launched in 2018.

Bruce on TV and at the market

Guild member Bruce McMichael recently won episode 20 of Gordon Ramsay's latest TV cooking talent show production, ‘Culinary Genius’ broadcast on ITV1. Jean-Christophe Novelli judged the three elimination rounds, crowning Bruce the winner for his Turbot en Papillote. The prize money was spent on a week's food touring trip to Sicily.

Photograph of Bruce McMichael

Bruce has also taken over as manager of the Penshurst Farmers' Market in west Kent, and is doing cooking demonstrations at the Health & Wellbeing Live event on Friday 22 September ( and the inaugural Tunbridge Wells Food Festival (Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September). For more information please go to or email 


Author: Orlando Murrin Email:

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