MASTERCHEF has nothing on Warrnambool’s Alice Hirst — she is a dessert queen.
Mrs Hirst’s rich fruit cake was awarded first prize this week at the Royal Melbourne Show.
“The judges said my fruit cake was 99 per cent. Nearly perfect,” she laughed.
Mrs Hirst cooked the fruit cake a few days before competition and nervously awaited the announcement of the winners. She was elated when her name was called out.
She said her fellow competitors were also good friends and she was very proud.
First prize was also awarded to her cinnamon, walnut and apple muffins in the sweet muffin contest.
Mrs Hirst had 20 entries in this year’s show and 11 of those gained placings — two firsts, two seconds, five thirds and two highly commended.
Since she was five years old Mrs Hirst has had a lifelong passion for cooking.
“I’ve always enjoyed cooking. I started when I was very young.”
Growing up on a farm her sisters didn’t want her going outside with them.
Instead, Mrs Hirst would stay inside and help her mother with the cooking, where she honed her skills.
At the age of seven she entered her first competition, beating adult competitors in the cream puff section at the Daylesford and District Agricultural Show.
Mrs Hirst said she was never beaten in the cream puff section until she was married and left the Daylesford area.
Competing each year at agricultural shows around the district, Mrs Hirst has an impressive record.
She has also been awarded first placings at the Royal Adelaide Show.
“Each year I make a statement and say this is my last year, but I still continue to exhibit when the show season comes around.”
This year she has vowed to teach her grandchildren Benjamin, 11, and Zac, 7 who are eager to compete at the upcoming Warrnambool show.