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Adam Antoine on Sunday became the first recipient of the Bake-Off Challenge which was part of the Ovation Fusion Festival held at Umodzi Park at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.

With food being the main focus for the three-day festival, the Bake-Off Challenge was added to the menu.

The contest started on Friday before three finalists were identified on Saturday, with the final being on Sunday.

At the end of it all, Antoine stood out, impressing judges who included former Big Brother Africa representative Hazel Warren and Food Network celebrity chef Claudia Sansone.

According to Ovation Fusion Festival organisers, the Bake-Off Challenge is a platform for people who have passion for baking; those who like to challenge themselves to the next level, and those who like to put their creativity to test.

The first of its kind, the competition, which attracted a lot of people, saw contestants present their very best in the preliminaries and then in the semi-finals. They were then subjected to a timed baking challenge in the finals.

In their judgment, the judges looked at, among other things, taste and presentation.

The contestants baked live and then the judges had to taste.

As a champion, the Lilongwe-based baker went away with a trophy and K500, 000.

Ovation Advertising Agency Managing Partner, Chimwemwe Matonga, said Antoine blew everyone’s mind.

“He deserved to be the champion; he blew everyone’s mind. All the contestants were amazing but there had to be only one winner,” Matonga said.

He said the Bake-Off Challenge being the first, a lot of people were cautious on how it was going to run but now they have a better understanding.

Matonga said the Ovation Fusion Festival, which debuted last year, lived up to its billing.

He, however, pointed out that they were looking forward to grow and that they would continue focusing on food.

“Food remains the main item of the festival and we are looking at contacting a couple of celebrity chefs. We are also looking at awareness drives so as to raise the profile of the food industry which has not been given the prominence it deserves,” Matonga said.

Apart from impressing with the Bake-Off Challenge, there were also performances on Sunday.

Some of the acts who performed include Faith Mussa, who went ahead to star with his full band, and Caitlin de Ville, a Zambian South Africa-based artist.

After impressing on Saturday, when she warmed up the stage for South African rapper Cassper Nyovest, Caitlin performed again on Sunday.

The artist is reported to have done well just as she did on Saturday.

“Caitlin is an amazing artist and I enjoyed her performance,” Faith said.

Faith described Ovation Fusion as a good festival.

“Honestly, Ovation stands a chance of being the biggest thing in the city. It has capacity and it’s just a matter of time,” he said.

Other artists that performed at this year’s festival include poet Robert Chiwamba, Hazel Mak and Patience Namadingo.



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