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Cypriot chef bakes Christmas delight

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Cypriot chef Panicos Panagiotou was crowned ‘Best Overall’ in the hotly contested British Forces Cyprus Christmas Cake competition.

The festive fun saw professional military and civilian chefs take part in a bake-off to see who could come out on top and make the best Christmas cake.

The traditional event saw 18 brightly coloured offerings judged by the panel on the crucial criteria of originality, creativity, festivity, finesse and skill.

And it was Chef Panagiotou, the manager of the Junior Ranks Mess in Alexander Barracks, that took home the top prize for his offering, which was packed full of Christmas cheer and all the other essentials that make a prize-winning cake.

Speaking after his glorious crowning, the champion revealed the effort that goes into making the perfect Christmas cake.

He said: “It does take an awful lot of effort.

“I worked on my cake for over a week as there were lots of very small intricate details that I wanted to include.

“Of course, it is really nice to win the competition, the other cakes were great, and I know how hard every chef worked, so it was nice, and now we can all enjoy our Christmas with loved ones.”

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, all cakes have now been auctioned off, and the money raised is set to be donated to charity.