Top Norfolk chef dedicates sausage roll to people who saved his life
- Credit: Archant
A sausage roll competition will see entries from two top Norfolk chefs – including one who has dedicated the pastry to the people who saved his life.
Charlie Hodson, from Charlie's Norfolk Food Heroes at the Crown Inn in Northwold, and Ben Handley, from The Duck Inn in Stanhoe will face fierce competition from 18 other chefs at the Great Sausage Roll Off.
Now in its eighth year the competition, described as 'a bit like the X Factor meets Masterchef', will be held at The Red Lion in Barnes, in London, on Wednesday, February 7.
Mr Hodson, 49, has called his sausage roll 'My Saving Grace' in tribute to the 13 people who supported him during a year of 'unequivocal pain'.
He said: "I am only here in this competition because of these people - without them, I wouldn't be here. This year it is not about winning it is just the pure fact that I am here and I can take part in the competition."
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The sausage roll has only five ingredients - butter, flour, oil, secret flavouring and an 'amazing' drink.
Mr Hodson added: "It is back to how I first started cooking with five basic ingredients. Normally everything I cook is all-singing and dancing. As chefs we all have huge egos but I'm leaving that at the door this time and I just want it to be me."
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Mr Hodson, who won in 2017 and came second in 2018 and 2019, said he was always nervous ahead of the competition although it is the highlight of his year.
The competition for Mr Handley, however, is his first after he was contacted by the Red Lion on Instagram.
He will be entering with a Norfolk quail and sausage roll which will be wrapped in a Norfolk dapple cheese and thyme pastry.
The 45-year-old has also paired the roll with a saffron pickled egg with basil mayonnaise - the green and yellow colours, he said, is a nod to Norwich City.
Mr Handley said: "I'm flying the flag for Norfolk with my sausage roll. It is very rich and indulgent - and not at all for the faint hearted."
"I'm really looking forward to the competition and although it is a bit of fun, I am actually really nervous."
This year the competition will support charity Hospitality Action.