With a cheesy smile and plenty of bravado, Dillon Boucher was thrust into the scone-baking spotlight in Eltham last night.
The former Tall Black and New Zealand Breakers basketball star was the guest celebrity at the Great Eltham Scone Night held at the town hall.
Boucher said he was happy to take part in "something a bit different", but confessed his baking prowess didn't match his on-court skills.
"Apart from eating them I've got no experience at all."
He hoped false confidence would carry him through.
Luckily Boucher had plenty of support, with his parents and Eltham-based aunty, uncle and cousins on the sidelines.
Robyn Roberts and Helen Whyte of the Mangatoki Women's Institute judged the junior competition, for cooks under 12 years.
Whyte said flavour and looks were the most important components of a good scone.
"It's got to be reasonably soft, not hard like a rock."
Bev Marx and Marlene Henn were judging the senior category.
Although a few bakers had deviated from the traditional path with the addition of curry powder or muffin-shaped scones, the key was to keep it simple, they said.
Overall, entry numbers were down on last year.
South Taranaki mayor Ross Dunlop was in the judge's seat and shared some scone-baking secrets learnt from his mother.
"You should always have wet mixture and a hot oven."
Judging the best scone baker in town was a tough task, he said.
Dunlop said the night was about bringing people together and celebrating the good things about the town.
Eltham Business Association president Joycelyn Carter said the competition grew yearly with more and more local businesses wanting to get involved.
- Taranaki Daily News
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