The competition was part of the Art Fund’s Edible Masterpieces fundraising initiative, challenging the public to cook up appetising creations inspired by iconic works of art in order to raise money for UK museums and galleries.
The winner and 10 runners up were chosen by esteemed judges Jonathan Jones, journalist and art critic for The Guardian; Rowley Leigh, chef, restauranteur and journalist; and Frances Quinn, winner of the Great British Bake Off 2013 and author of Quinntessential Baking. The panel deliberated for more than an hour over the entries – which varied from a surrealist homage made out of 500 marshmallows to a Taj Mahal constructed in chocolate.
The judges praised Riley’s entry for her imagination and ‘inspiring use of ingredients’. Jonathan Jones described it as a ‘divine concept’, whilst Frances Quinn thought it was ‘really thinking outside the fruit bowl.’ Rowley Leigh expressed that the entry ‘stood out straight away. Who’d have thought satsumas could be so dynamic?’
Inspired by ‘The Creation of Adam’, which forms part of the ceiling of the papal chapel in Vatican City, the satsuma illustration was made by Priley Riley, 21, who is in the final year of her Fine Art degree at Loughborough University. Riley explained, ‘I’m not very good at cooking, as a student I normally live on microwave meals! But I really wanted to enter because I liked that it was an art-based competition and that the money would go towards supporting museums and galleries, so I had to find something I could use. I’ve never made art out of fruit before!’
Riley will receive a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer, a Konditor & Cook Premium Kitchen Experience Day, What to Bake and How to Bake It recipe book by Jane Hornby, and a National Art Pass for her winning entry, whilst the 10 chosen runners up will receive goodie bags.
In addition to the Ultimate Edible Masterpiece competition, participants have engaged with the initiative in numerous ways. Many have created their own masterpieces at home, whilst others have rallied together to host a bake-off style competition with family, friends and colleagues, raising extra funds and seeing who has the best culinary skills. This year also saw the launch of Edible Masters, a group of ambassadors who have driven the initiative regionally by hosting events in their local areas.
All funds raised through Edible Masterpieces will go towards supporting museums and galleries across the UK through the Art Fund’s charitable programme, helping to buy and display great art for everyone to enjoy. Recent prominent campaigns have included the saving of the Van Dyck self-portrait, now in the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection, and the saving of the Wedgwood Collection, which spans 250 years of British history.