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Seven-year-old girl beats Mum in baking competition
A baker who owns a cookery school was dumped out of a bread competition - only to find out her 7-year-old daughter made it through to the final.
Katarina Willingham, 34, and her daughter Lola baked two bread rolls each and entered the Tiptree World Bread Awards in London.
Less than a week after delivering the freshly-baked dough, the cookery school owner was informed she had not made the cut.
But it turned out her daughter was the star in the family as she progressed to the next round after judges gave her a place in the final.
The primary school pupil spent more than two hours carefully baking her two rolls using her Slovakian great-grandmother's homemade recipe.
Mrs Willingham, who owns the Lemon & Soul Cookery School in Southampton, was disappointed about her own result but is proud of her daughter.
She said: "I spotted the competition while browsing online and thought it would be a great idea and a bit of fun if both Lola and I entered.
"I had to join the professional category, but unfortunately didn't make it through the first round.
"But Lola baked two brilliant Slovakian sour dough bread rolls and has made it through to the final of the under 12 category.
"It was disappointing to not make it through to the final but I'm over the moon that Lola has progressed in the competition."
Only two contestants were selected for the final that takes place on October 8, where the winner will be treated to a special Waitrose cookery course.
Lola has been baking since she was two years old and seems to have risen to the challenge of competitive bread baking.
Mrs Willingham, who also sells homemade bread, added: "Lola's incredibly excited and loves baking.
"She's been baking for five years and loves cooking, but bread is her favourite food to make.
"Baking has always been in the family and she's grown up watching me bake and has always taken an interest.
"It takes a long time to create the perfect bread and Lola spent more than two hours baking her two pieces at home for the final."
Mrs Willingham was nervous about entering the professional category but is delighted one of them made it through.
She added: "I didn't have any expectations of either of our entries, I'm just glad one of us has made it through!
"I'm absolutely delighted and so proud of what Lola's achieved. Hopefully she can go on and win the whole thing.
"It's great to see your daughter succeed at something you love to do and do for a living.
"Her two sisters Victoria, 3, and Nadia, 6, are excited for her, too. They want her to win and we'll about be supporting her in the final."
They were both entering a bread baking competition for the first time and had to deliver their food that was ready for eating on arrival.
Mrs Willingham paid 10 pounds to enter her two Slovakian sour dough rolls in the competition, while the young baker category was free to enter.
The bread could not contain identifying marks and was judged on plain white plates or trays without garnish or decoration.
The judges included Great British Bake Off stars James Morton and Edd Kimber, as well as food critic Charles Campion.
A spokeswoman for the Tiptree World Bread Awards said: "It is wonderful that so many young people are excited by baking bread.
"A huge well done to Lola Willingham, 7, for being short-listed in the 12 and under section - Paul Hollywood you had better watch out!"
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