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Date added: 06 March 2015

It's Pies vs Pasta at The Bakers Arms 

Chefs do battle to find best pub dish
The oven gloves are off at The Bakers Arms at Stratton, Swindon, after landlady and head chef Catherine Kelly and her assistant chef Laura Medlam go head to head to decide whether Catherine’s Steak and Kidney Pie or Laura’s lasagne is the more popular pub dish.
Best steak & kidney in Swindon
If they were competing in the sticky toffee pudding stakes, Catherine (pictured right) admits Laura (l) would win hands down as she says Laura’s pudding is just a bit tastier, but this feisty landlady is determined that she’s the best steak and kidney pie maker in Swindon.
“I cook my meat in the sauce a day before I make the pastry so all the flavours can really come out, and of course it’s loaded with a few delicious extras that I’m not telling anyone about, least of all Laura!”
Catherine has reason to be secretive. She took Laura on a few months ago as a trainee chef and it didn’t take her long to discover her new employee’s talent.
“She’s got a natural ability to cook tasty food. She’s great to work with and, along with the third member of our kitchen, Viv McMurrey who is our dessert queen, we all get on so well that the Bakers Arms is a really lovely place to work. We’re a town pub that does great home-cooked food for really appreciative local customers and we’re proud of it.”

British Pie Week
02-08 March
The steak and kidney pie versus Laura’s lasagne was put to the test this week and, for now at least, the pie won hands down, selling out at lunchtime while there were a few portions of lasagne left, for this week at least.
10 year anniversary
Catherine, who has been in the licenced trade for thirty years, is also celebrating ten years’ at The Baker’s Arms this year.
The pub, owned by Arkell’s Brewery, was extended a few years’ ago to provide a larger dining area for up to sixty people.
But Catherine’s skills don’t just stop at steak and kidney, she’s happy to challenge other town pubs to prove she does the best Sunday roast in Swindon. “And my roast potatoes come straight out of the oven. I’m proud of their crispiness.”
Bakers Arms, Stratton - website
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