Congratulations Brookfield!

The Cookery Section received nearly 700 entries, and the quality was outstanding.  We have a  whole wall of Children’s’ cupcakes, so many we had to split them into two different classes for the judging.  Great work!  Also in what must be a first, the overall prize for best Novelty Decorated Cake for the whole Show was won by a Children’s entry, who narrowly beat her own father in the adults section for the accolade!  Now that’s something to crow about.

Congratulations to our major prize winners, but also to everyone who entered – you are all winners!

If you have ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes, pictured below are some of our 30 volunteer stewards and seven judges.  Yesterday (Thursday) our six cake and preserve judges tasted, poked and prodded their way through every entry, and the decorated cake judge faced an almost impossible task of picking the winners.

A special thank you to each of our wonderful volunteer stewards, many of whom come back year after year.  You do an incredible job, and it wouldn’t happen without you!

See you at the Show!

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Childrens judge hard at work

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Looking for recipes, hints and tips?  See the Cookery blog at  Make sure that you subscribe to the blog to see regular updates coming up the Show, and register for Twitter updates.

Have you got a question about entering the Cookery?  See the Frequently Asked Questions:

Cookery FAQ

How do I enter? 

All entries are online, and will close on midnight Sunday 11 May.  If you don’t have Internet access to enter, send details of your entries to the Show Society (address is on the Cookery Schedule), and we will enter for you.

Will late entries be accepted?

We receive a large number of entries which must be processed in advance of the Show, and processing entries after 11 May causes a lot of difficulty.  We will however accept a late entry on the payment of a $5 late fee per exhibitor, payable when you deliver your exhibits to the Cookery Pavilion.

How much does it cost to enter, and when and how do I pay?

Entries are $ 1 per exhibit, and 50c if you are a pensioner or on benefits.  Children’s entries are $1 per exhibit, and 50c for the Prep biscuits (class 619), which are not judged.

You pay for your entry when you drop off your exhibits to the Showground at the specified times.

When do I bring my entries to the Showground for judging?

You can bring your entries to the Cookery Pavilion on Wednesday 15 May from 4-6 pm, or Thursday 16 May from 7.30-9.30 am.  No exhibits can be accepted after 9.30 am Thursday.   If you have a very large number of entries, please do not bring them at the last minute, as we will be unable to process them before judging.

When can I collect my entries after the Show?

Entries can be collected from the Pavilion on Sunday 18 May from 5-6 pm ONLY.  Please let us know on delivery of your entry if you do not intend to collect it after the Show.  Entries not collected by 6 pm Sunday 19 May will be disposed of.  Please note that you will NOT be able to collect your entry during the Show.

How do I become a Steward in the Cookery Section?

We love welcoming new Stewards to the Cookery Section, and even if you can only give two hours of your time over the Show weekend or during judging, this would be much appreciated.  This will give you the opportunity to watch the judges at work and get lots of tips on how to produce a winning entry!  See the Cookery Schedule for how to volunteer as a Steward, or email offers of help to

What sort of recipes should I use?

Traditional Show recipes are best for the general classes, and exhibits such as chocolate mud cake, or gateaux are not recommended.  Entries using cream, mock cream, custard or similar icings or fillings cannot be accepted.  See the Cookery blog for lots of good ideas –


The Cookery Section can be found in the Daphne Dowdle Pavilion, named after the former cookery chief steward of 40 years, and community stalwart, Mrs Daphne Dowdle.

For more information contact chief steward Geraldine Mackenzie at  For more information about children’s cookery contact Chief Steward Catherine Mackenzie at

 Vale Daphne Dowdle

It is with great sadness that we advise that Daphne Dowdle passed away peacefully on 20 October 2013, after a brief illness, at the age of 96.

Daphne was the long serving Chief Steward of the Cookery Pavilion at the Brookfield Show, and served in that capacity for 40 years.  Her last year was 1998, and after that she continued as a Steward until two years ago, when her advancing years made it difficult to participate.  Even so, she listened keenly to tales of the Show, and wanted full details of what had happened, and who had asked after her.  A natural leader, she capably ran a large Show section with everything written by hand, and kept careful records and formidable standards.  Despite this, she had a heart of gold, and loved seeing a lot of entries, and every year in recent times her first question about the Show to me was “but were the shelves in the Pavilion filled with exhibits?”

She was very ably succeeded in the role by Yanina Hughes, who had also worked closely with Daphne in the last few years of her role as Chief Steward.  Daphne loved working with her large group of faithful Stewards, including old friends and what she called the “young ones”, who have now taken over her mantle running the Cookery Section.   Under Daphne’s watchful eye, we dared not change much, as we knew that Daphne would sniff it out, and when change did come it was gradual, but her firm standards have been maintained and always will be.

Daphne’s particular love was the children who entered year after year, and she was so thrilled when they grew up, and their own children entered.  Not having children of her own, she worked tirelessly for the community, through the Show Society, the Brookfield CWA and the Kenmore Uniting Church, ensuring that it was a better place for every one else’s children, and has left an enduring legacy which will never be surpassed.

On a personal note, Daphne was a much loved friend to us all, and we will all miss her very much.  Daphne taught me everything I know about Show cooking, and like countless others, I was blessed to have her in my life, and that of my family.

Geraldine Mackenzie

Chief Steward, Cookery