If You Can’t Stand the Heat….But Laoise Could!

Laoise Casey, winner of The Big Bake 2012 pictured with her winning recipe: Bread and Butter Pudding with pistachio.

Dundrum Cooking Enthusiast Wins National Big Bake

“I can’t believe I’m going to get to meet Catherine Leyden and be on the telly. My Granny will be tuning in to see her recipe, she’s as happy as me!”

Delighted with her winner’s apron, Laoise Casey from Dundrum in Dublin was last night crowned Big Bake champion at a heated bake-off in Cooks Academy on South William Street in the city.

The event organised by Age Action and supported by Bluebird Care drew interest from across the country.

Eight finalists from Donegal, Meath, Galway, Dublin, Kildare and Mayo battled it out with soaring temperatures and mouth-watering tastes smoking from the Cooks Academy kitchen.

Head judge, award-winning celebrity chef Gary O’Hanlon said he was pleasantly surprised at the standard of the competition suggesting that runner-up 16-year old Laura McFadden from Carrigart in Co. Donegal should be stepping into some of Ireland’s finest eateries given her unique baking skills.

Laura baked a chocolate fudge cake and described her runner-up position as “the best thing ever. I love baking, I’d do anything to bake and this is like a dream come true.”

But it was HR Manager Laoise Casey who wowed the judges with her skill, finesse and calm baking methods. “The eclectic mix of tastes and depth of skill shown by Laoise is amazing. I want that recipe,” said Gary O’Hanlon.

Letting her Grandma’s recipe out of the bag for this contest organised by Age Action as part of National Positive Ageing Week, Laoise will now appear on Ireland AM with Catherine Leyden where she will re-produce her winning entry. She also received a Luxury Home Backing Pack from home interiors store Hegartys.ie

Fundraising Manager with Age Action Rhona O’Connor says, “we were thrilled with the level of talent at this year’s Big Bake and the interest from around Ireland. It’s great to see traditional skills being used by young and old and recipes being handed down through generations.”

Eddie O’Toole of Bluebird Care described the event as another example of positive ageing, “16-year old Laura with her traditional cooking methods, Karyn with her mother-in-law’s recipe in memory of her, and Laoise also used her Grandma’s secret recipe, it’s great to see all generations coming together.” 

The Big Bake finalists were:

• Máire Davoren, from Ballybrit, Galway who baked a Strawberry and Chocolate Gateaux.
• Brid Halpin and Peter O’Riordan from Bloomfield Care Centre, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 who baked Bloomfield Butterfly Buns.
• Karyn Ryan from Navan, Co. Meath who baked her mother-in-laws secret recipe for Strawberry Torte. (2nd runner up)
• Jill Neary, from Ballina, Co. Mayo who baked a fruit soda cake.
• Pamela Farrell, from Navan, Co. Meath, who baked Pam’s Nicker Glory.
• Laura McFadden from Carrigart who baked Chocolate Fudge Cake. (1st runner up)
• Laoise Casey from Dundrum in Dublin, who baked Bread and Butter pudding using pistachio bread. (winner)
• Clare Bellis from Dublin, who baked Rum and Ginger cake.

For photos of the event log onto bluebirdcare.ie

Young and old unite to celebrate Positive Ageing Week 2012

“There are no limits”. Launching the 10th Annual Positive Ageing Week are John and Sarah Fitzsimons with 3 year old Michael Fitzpatrick. Also pictured are Lorraine Dorgan, Deputy CEO Age Action, organisers of Positive Ageing Week and Eddie O’Toole, Director of Operations, Bluebird Care who are supporting Positive Ageing Week. Photo by Darren Kinsella.

Groups of younger and older people will team up this week to enjoy hundreds of events around Ireland as part of Age Action’s Positive Ageing Week.

This year the older people’s charity celebrates the 10th annual Positive Ageing Week with a strong intergenerational theme to mark the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. Over 1,000 events are expected to take place during the week (September 28 to October 6), which is sponsored by Bluebird Care.

Positive Ageing Week 2012 will be formally launched by broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh at an Age Action conference in Croke Park this morning.  International experts on health care, older workers and carers, and intergenerational work will be among the line-up of speakers for the event.   The conference, sponsored by Pfizer, will look at the contribution which older people make to society.

“From the start the aim of Positive Ageing Week was to celebrate the fact that we are all living longer and that ageing was something to be celebrated, not feared,” Age Action chief executive Robin Webster said. “Our ageing population is a tremendous demographic bounty, but we must look at more ways to capitalise on this.  Positive Ageing Week highlights the contribution which older people have made in the past to our communities and, more importantly, the contribution which they continue to make today. Never, has that message been more important. ”

The week is Ireland’s largest celebration of positive ageing, with 15 Positive Ageing Week towns running week-long series of events and hundreds of communities across the country marking the week in their own special way. Mr Webster appealed for the general public and local communities to support their local events. “All the preparations are complete and all that is now needed is for communities to rally around and support their local events,” he said.

Positive Ageing Week is only possible because of the sponsorship provided by Bluebird Care.  “Much of our work involves helping older people live with dignity in their own homes, and so we are delighted to be part of this national celebration of positive ageing,” Bluebird Care Director of Operations Eddie O’Toole said.

This year’s Positive Ageing Week towns are: Arklow; Athy; Ballymun; Boyle; Cashel; Drogheda; Dublin; Dundalk; Dungarvan; Galway; Kinsale; Midleton; Sligo; Trim; and Tullamore.

The lineup of events taking place around the country ranges from concerts and gala balls, to line dancing, mystery tours, historical walks and cookery demonstrations. For full details of events around Ireland visit www.ageaction.ie


SEPTEMBER 28, 2012