Norwich cook’s ‘best pudding in the Eastern region’ free to taste in Norwich city centre

Visitors to a Norwich tearoom today could try the same pudding that wowed judges of the ITV show Britain's Best Dish.

Julie Philpot, 50, of The Moorings, off Oak Street, reached the national final of the show last week with her whisked sponge cake called blueberry burst gateau. And visitors to Biddy's Tea Room in Lower Goat Lane, including Evening News reporter David Bale, gave her dish the thumbs-up today at a free tasting session.

As well as working part-time for social services, Mrs Philpot also runs her own cookery teaching business, Plan to Cook.

The mother of three said she entered the competition to help promote her business, but admitted it had been a nerve-wracking experience.

She said: 'It was hard because I was cooking in a totally different environment on a studio set, but at the same time it was really exciting. It was also hot with all the studio lights on. A lot of people said I looked really nervous for the first heat, but not so bad for the second.

'The only negative comment I got on the show was that the sponge was too dry, as I left it in the oven too long and the lights from the studio dry things out.

'But the judges Ed Baines and John Burton Race liked it and it was great to be the best pudding of the eastern region.'

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She has loved cooking since she was a toddler, she said.

'I can remember standing on a chair rolling pastry out when I was two, and my mother was a very good cook. I have always cooked things from scratch for my family.

'My partner Sid Sidhu loves my cooking. He's Indian so I have learned authentic Indian cooking from his family. He said my cooking was now as good as his mother's.'

The ITV series sees cooks battle it out in the kitchen for the chance to have their dish on the menu at London's Savoy Hotel. Viewers will have to watch the finals, due to be aired the week of May 23, to see if Mrs Philpot wins the competition.

Do you know somebody who is going to be on TV? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email