Generational cooking skills put to the test

Joondalup Primary School student Imogen Lines (10) prepares for the Big Bethanie Bake Off in her school canteen. Picture: David Baylis d496625
Joondalup Primary School student Imogen Lines (10) prepares for the Big Bethanie Bake Off in her school canteen. Picture: David Baylis d496625

JOONDALUP youngster Imogen Lines will test her culinary skills when she makes her grandad’s Welsh cakes live on stage next week.

The 10-year-old has been named a finalist in the Big Bethanie Bake Off cooking competition on November 13, which brings old and young together and aims to close the intergenerational gap.

Imogen’s grandad Tom Reynolds was born in Swansea, South Wales in 1920.

He joined the merchant navy at age 15 and soon started working in the galley.

After leaving the navy, he continued to work in the food industry as a cook, waiter and running his own mobile fish and chip wagon before becoming a senior catering manager for many years.

He then owned his own restaurant where Imogen’s mum Amanda Lines grew up and found her love of cooking.

Imogen never got to meet her grandad because he died before she was born but she has spent hours looking at photos of her family and listening to her mum talk about learning to cook with him.

Joondalup Primary School student Imogen Lines (10) prepares for the Big Bethanie Bake Off in her school canteen. Picture: David Baylis d496625

Welsh cakes, also known as bakestones or griddle cakes, were originally made on a hot, flat stone as an alternative when bread was unavailable because of rationing or if visitors were expected for afternoon tea.

Mr Reynolds would make these to go with his favourite meal of cockles, bacon and laverbread (another traditional Welsh dish of seaweed and shell fish).

Growing up, Imogen said she enjoyed “elevensies” in the UK (traditional morning tea) where Welsh cakes were always popular.

The Joondalup Primary School Year 5 student continues to make them every year on March 1 to celebrate St David’s Day.

The Big Bethanie Bake Off will be held as part of at Have-a-Go Day at Burswood Park with eight finalists taking to the stage – four seniors and four juniors.

Imogen’s mum will be helping her cook on the day.

“Imogen has wanted to cook from an early age and has always been fascinated with stories of her grandparents cooking adventures,” Mrs Lines said.

“She spends hours poring over recipes, watching cookery shows and reading her grandad’s precious, old cookery books where she finds recipes from what she calls ‘the olden days’ and asks to try them out.”

All entries will be judged on creativity, nutritional value, and complexity of the recipe, along with the story behind their family recipe.

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