It was a culinary contest with a difference – the challenge being to create mouth-watering snacks for people living with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy who, therefore, are often off their food.

The Best Taste Competition was organised by the Hunts Community Cancer Network team and involved encouraging people to submit easy-to-make recipes that had worked for them and tantalised their tastebuds when all else had failed.

The finals were held at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon on Thursday (June 18), when the shortlisted dishes were prepared by Lisa Normanton and her colleagues, then judged by a panel of four.

The judges were Lisa Normanton, head chef at the hospital; Jack Woolner, head chef at The Old Bridge Hotel; Wayne Garner, chef manager at Ernulf Academy; and John Miller who is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

The winning creations were watercress velouté, or soup, submitted by Clive Roche; Graham Moore's melon salad; beetroot brownies by Karen Aspinall; and Rachel Guinee's Albondigas, or Spanish meatballs.

The winners were presented with their prizes, which included copies of the Royal Marsden Cancer Cook Book, by Hisham Abdel-Rahman, Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust chief executive, and they were toasted with bubbly donated by John Hoskins of The Old Bridge.

Invited guests also watched a masterclass by Mr Woolner.

Organisers, who thanked people for sharing their recipes and businesses for their support, said the plan was to make the competition an annual event.