16 September 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Marie McCarthy from Carrigaline, Co. Cork is the winner of The National Brown Bread Baking Competition, run by Aldi and in association with the National Ploughing Association (NPA) and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA). Marie will receive a guaranteed cash prize of €15,000 and her bread will be available in store in the coming weeks.
Relaunched six years ago by the NPA, the event this year was a huge success with entries from all over Ireland submitted into Aldi stores. This year, over 700 entries were submitted making it the most successful year to date. Open to all members of the public, all entrants were asked to drop their freshly baked bread to Aldi stores on certain dates, with the breads then judged by a panel, and 4 contestants making it through to the final.
The four finalists were:
- Marie McCarthy from Carrigaline, Co. Cork
- Aisling O’Toole from Monasterevin, Co. Kildare
- Marie Doherty from Ballymote, Co. Sligo
- Kathrina Ruddock from Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim
The final was held this week at Cooks Academy in Dublin where Marie McCarthy from Carrigaline in Cork rose to the challenge and emerged victorious, commended by the judges for her Brown Bread’s overall appearance, texture, and all-important taste. The bread is sure to be popular with Aldi customers nationwide.
The winner, Marie, commented:
“I am thrilled to have won the National Brown Bread Baking Competition this year. I spent much of the lockdown perfecting my brown bread and it has certainly paid off! I can’t wait to see my loaf on all Aldi shelves nationwide in the near future!”
Group Buying Director at Aldi Ireland, John Curtin said,
“We are delighted to continue our association with The National Brown Bread Baking Competition again this year and to be able to host the competition during these challenging times. Even though the competition couldn’t take place at the National Ploughing Championships, we still wanted to ensure that Ireland’s best bakers had the chance to take part in this fantastic competition. We would like to thank all of the participants who took part this year, their considerable effort in baking and then dropping samples at our locations nationwide. Massive congratulations to Marie McCarthy on winning and we look forward to seeing her winning recipe on sale at all 143 stores nationwide very soon.”
NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said
“Given the huge popularity and success of the National Brown Bread Baking competition at The National Ploughing Championships, we were delighted that the competition went ahead this year. We want to wish Marie all the best and we hope to be back in our usual surroundings next year.”
Josephine Helly, President of the ICA said,
“Our members were once again delighted to be taking part in the National Brown Bread Baking Competition to find the best Brown Bread in Ireland. Congratulations to Marie on her win!”