Ruth Frost, from Cork who was one of five finalists who took part in Bord Bia’s Ham and Bacon grand-final cook-off live on the Anton Savage Show last week. (Picture: Andres Poveda Photography)

Cork native Ruth Frost was one of five finalists who took part in Bord Bia’s Ham and Bacon grand-final cook-off live on the Anton Savage Show last week.

The nationwide competition called on participants to dish up something really special using Bord Bia Quality Mark Ham and Bacon in order to find Ireland’s most HAMbitious cook. Frost rustled up one of her alternative favourites for the competition, Bacon and Cabbage Sushi.

As ambassador for Bord Bia’s Ham and Bacon campaign, food historian Regina Sexton was on hand with fellow judges Lochlann O’Mearain and Pat O’Flaherty, Chairman IFA Pigmeat Committee, to choose a winner from the five most tempting and imaginative recipes.

Each of the five finalists went home with an Apple iPad. Emer Casey from Kerry was crowned the overall winner with her recipe, Sticky Ham and Pineapple Skewers with Super Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. She took home the ultimate prize of a kitchen makeover. Other finalists included Julianne Brogan from Kildare, Stephen McBride from Louth, and Shane Lawlor from Laois.

As a nation, we love great food, and new research* released by Bord Bia shows that we also cherish a great recipe. In fact, 8 in 10 of those surveyed said that they still use recipes passed on to them by their parents and grandparents, whilst one in five said they still make dishes that their grandparents prepared for them.

Nearly half of those surveyed (48%) also said that they use recipes that have been passed on by family members. Those most likely to pass on recipes were mums (35%) and sisters (30%), whilst the least likely were dads and brothers (3%).  When asked if certain recipes provoked family memories, more than one in five (22%) agreed.

Not only were the majority of those surveyed using recipes when they cook (93%), but more than seven in 10 (73%) are creating their very own recipes at home. Whilst storing recipes may have changed in the digital age, with nearly 45% keeping their recipes on their computer, it seems that old traditions die hard, as more than six in 10 surveyed still keep their recipes in a recipe book or folder.

The research coincides with Bord Bia’s latest campaign; ‘Ham & Bacon – A Family Favourite’, which encourages consumers to always choose Bord Bia Quality Assured ham and bacon carrying the Bord Bia Quality Mark which ensures that food is independently checked against Bord Bia’s highest quality standards.  It also means consumers will know where the food comes from.

Teresa Brophy, Consumer and Trade Marketing Manager at Bord Bia stated, “We encourage consumers to always choose products with the Bord Bia Quality Mark, so that they know their food has been produced to the highest Bord Bia quality standards and can be traced back to the farm.”

Ireland’s most HAMbitious Cook is all thanks to the Bord Bia Quality Mark, the independently checked quality mark that guarantees Bord Bia’s highest quality standards for Ham and Bacon.

For a vast selection of traditional, contemporary and everyday ham and bacon recipes to suit all tastes, check out