The Great Manitoulin Bake-Off is back for a second year of culinary delights

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MANITOULIN—The Great Manitoulin Bake-Off is back for a second year! Hosted by the Township of Assiginack, it is running for the month of May. Last year was the inaugural year and both age categories had solid entries. The goal this year is to encourage more residents of Manitoulin to enter. After all, it’s just for fun!

Due to COVID, in 2021 the first round had to be done virtually using images of the bakes. This year there is excitement that all rounds will have the judges tasting the makes.

“There is a category for kids 16 and under and one for adults 17 years and up,” said Assiginack events coordinator Jackie White. “There are four rounds, one each week in the month of May. Last year it ran biweekly throughout the summer. It was suggested by a few participants that juggling it through the summer was a bit challenging due to other commitments. This year we will shorten the bake turn around time and do it in the spring.”

How it works

All participants are sent an email outlining what the bake is, and they have one week to prepare and bring it to the Assiginack arena. Judges will then meet, taste and deliberate the entries. There will be a winner announced for each round as well, just for fun. Only the judges and one staff are present during the judging. The bakers are told that they cannot show their creations until after the judging takes place. Even the judges are unaware of who has entered, not until the very last round when the winner is announced are they made aware of the contestants.

The three judges, Sally White, Rose and John Diebolt, are all back again this year. The trio has a vast knowledge in the baking world and bring years of experience to the table.

There is a process of elimination each round to whittle down the entries until there are just a few for the last round. It is very exciting to wait and see if you get the email notifying you that you are continuing on. And for those that do get eliminated, they can feel proud that they put themselves out there and participated in the Manitoulin Bake-Off and can practice up for next year.

“The bake-off is one of fun and excitement to see if you make it to the next round!” Ms. White says. “While the bakes are shown on social media, no one knows if you made it or not, unless you choose to share that knowledge, so there is no reason to be nervous.”

Whether you bake a lot, or just a little, you can show your skills off in the contest. Registration closes Tuesday, May 3 and you can register at assiginack.ca or email info@assiginack.ca for more information. The cost is just $5 to register.