Doncaster was delicious for inaugural food and drink festival

Jas Kaur was the winner of the Great Doncaster Bake Off
Jas Kaur was the winner of the Great Doncaster Bake Off

Culinary lovers got a taste of the town over the weekend for the Delicious Doncaster Food and Drink Festival.

Market shoppers enjoyed the extra attraction of the stalls along St SepulchDoncre, Baxter Gate and Market Gate for the event which organisers say has a bright future.

Great Doncaster Bake Off judge Janet Sylvester with an entry for the competition

Great Doncaster Bake Off judge Janet Sylvester with an entry for the competition

There were alcohol stands there for those who wanted a tipple to wash down the delicious treats from the food stalls.

Locals had the chance to impress with their cooking skills, with the inaugural Great Doncaster Bake Off and Ready, Steady, Cook contest next door.

Jas Kaur, 23, was crowned Doncaster's baking queen.

Her pistachio and raspberry drip layer cake wowed the judges at the Doncaster Market event.

Geoff Holmes gets a pizza out of the oven at the Doncaster Food Festival

Geoff Holmes gets a pizza out of the oven at the Doncaster Food Festival

A day off meant Ms Kaur was free to enter the competition, and her 11th-hour decision paid off with a victory.

"I came across the competition online and was looking for a good cake challenge as I practise cake decorating at home," she said.

She has ambitions to one day turn her hobby into a profession.

"I'm a sales assistant at the moment, but I want to get my cakes out there," she said.

Simon Bennett's chili jams an sauces are inspired by the flavours of south east Asia

Simon Bennett's chili jams an sauces are inspired by the flavours of south east Asia

"The runners up were also great competition and I look forward to seeing more of this in Doncaster."

The judging panel said Ms Kaur's cake 'fitted the brief'.

"It looked good, tasted good and the technical skills were good," judge Janet Sylvester said.

"And the combinations [of flavours] worked really well together."

Miss Sylvester was one of four judges who had the enviable task of picking a winning cake.

Judges were so impressed with the entries at the first event that they decided to award a highly commended prize.

That went to Billy Brigden, for his angel food cake with passionfruit and lemon curd drizzle.

He said it was a hit at parties, with 'everybody' asking him to make it.

"It's really light, mostly egg whites and sugar," he said.

Joining Miss Sylvester on the judging panel were Lisa Poyott, Sue Voltaire and Sharon Hill.

Stallholders like Simon Bennett enjoyed bringing some strong flavours to Doncaster people.

Mr Bennett was forced out of the finance industry during the global financial crisis, so he turned to hot food.

His chilli jams and sauces are inspired by the flavours of South East Asia.

Mr Bennett's love for spice started when he lived in Australia. Mr Bennett lived in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

When he returned to Britain, he was disappointed with the range of chili jam and hot sauces available.

"It was like someone had chopped my right arm off when I came back from Australia," 46-year-old Mr Bennett said.

He began making little batches for himself, and it grew from there.

He said his products went hand in hand with barbecued meats.

"Anything that's going to go on a barbecue," Mr Bennett said.

"Either on it before it goes in or on it after it comes off."

There were high stakes in the other cooking competition when fishmonger Nigel Berry took on butcher Daniel Wilkinson.

People power decided the outcome of the contest. The audience held up a red tomato or green pepper to represent their favourite dish.

Mr Berry's prawns dish got more tomato votes than Mr Wilkinson's steak diane.

He said it was down to being able to feed the whole audience.

"I cooked two full bags of prawns," he said.

Everyone got a chance to try Mr Berry's prawns with chili, garlic, ginger, olive oil and lemon juice.

All the ingredients were sourced from the market.

Mr Berry, 58, said the festival was brilliant for Doncaster, with traders and shoppers benefiting.

"It's just something different for the town," the Fiddler's Drive, Armthorpe resident said.

"It attracts people who don't normally come into the town centre, and for us, it's a chance to show off what we've got to offer."

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones was delighted with the first instalment of the festival.

Mrs Jones is confident the festival will be a hit in coming years.

"It's got very much a future," she said.

She spoke of moving next year's event to the May Day bank holiday.

She also said the event could coincide with the Doncaster Folk Festival.