LOCAL produce, the best-quality beef dripping and Yorkshire spirit are the key to fantastic Yorkshire puddings, according to Calderdale’s king of the puds.
Christopher Blackburn, 32, from Copley, beat competition from other amateur chefs to be crowned Great Yorkshire Pudding Champion at the Cooking School, Dean Clough.
He said: “There is some nervousness with Yorkshire puddings. I’m confident using my oven but this was one I wasn’t used to.
“You know the minute they go in the oven if they going to be good or not and I knew this was a good batch.
“I think they’re the best I’ve ever produced.”
Chris said he was so confident he was offering out the recipe while the puds were still in the oven.
“Pro chef Tim Bilton was there and I said to him that I had some batter left over if he wanted to take it back to his restaurant,” said Chris.
“Without a doubt, you need good-quality local produce.
“I went to the farm shop at Far Barsley, Barkisland, on the morning to pick up free-range eggs, fresh milk and the beef dripping which is key – along with Yorkshire pride.
“If you’re from Yorkshire and can’t make a good Yorkshire pudding you need to question your Yorkshire spirit.”
Stephen Wilkinson, of Brighouse, picked up second place and third went to Sally Kirk, of Holmfirth.
Manager Barbara Govan said: “It was an extremely high standard. The judges were poring over the puddings, looking at presentation, texture and colour.
“It was amazing the affection for Yorkshire puddings and we will certianly be holding another competition next year.”
Before the amateurs got their whisks out, professionals battled it out and represented areas of Yorkshire. Ben Cox, of The Star, Sancton, representing Humberside was crowned champion.
Judges, including Elaine Lemm author of The Great Book of Yorkshire Pudding, said Ben’s were some of the best they had ever tasted.
All recipes are available at www.thecookingschool.co.uk