JEDDAH: A Saudi woman has won a prestigious home-baking competition after being encouraged to enter the contest by her daughter.
Reem Rida Khashoggi beat nine other finalists in the Jeddah-based Golden Whisk competition with one of the simplest desserts of the night — “petit four” biscuits served in a small box that drew unanimous praise from the judges on Sunday.
“I got into this competition through my daughter,” Khashoggi told Arab News after accepting the trophy. “She has pushed me to improve and convinced me to be a part of this.”
The Golden Whisk competition was organized by Crate, a Jeddah concept store that encourages local entrepreneurs, along with Mariam Haddad, owner of a bakery in Crate and one of the judges.
More than 120 women submitted a range of bakery creations for judging with 10 finalists chosen for Sunday’s showdown.
Khashoggi said she gained her baking experience by “randomly opening recipe books and studying recipes.”
“I started baking with petit four biscuits and the reaction I received from the people was amazing,” she said.
Her daughter, Heba Bakri, said was “beyond happy” to see her mother win. “I am so proud, she is a great person. Congratulations, mom. You deserve the best,” she added.
The competition finale was hosted by Abdulrahman Baaghil, co-creator of Jeddah Attractions, and judges Basma El-Khereiji, chef behind the Social Kitchen, and Raneen Joudah, a home baker, together with Haddad.
“I believe that it is an act of giving back to society by getting involved with small bakers, especially people who are just starting their careers,” said El-Khereiji.
Contestants’ offerings were judged on taste, presentation, creativity and originality.
The winner will have the chance to create her own business with the help of recognition from startup Bakery M, design services from Loud, shelf space at Crate, a range of products from Baker’s Choice and a SR1,500 voucher from Chef & Chef.