Parkersburg News and Sentinel, Marietta A.M. hold tasting event for cookbook contest

WILLIAMSTOWN – Four local food lovers and professionals gathered Wednesday to select the best of the best offerings during the 59th annual Parkersburg News and Sentinel and Marietta A.M. Cookbook tasting and judging.

Only 35 recipes of the 395 recipes from 53 contestants were chosen to participate in the final round of the competition at the Williamstown Women’s Clubhouse in Tomlinson Park, according to organizer Sharon Coleman with the newspaper.

Of those 35 chosen recipes, four contestants were not able to participate, said Coleman.

Although the majority of the contestants with dishes in this year’s tasting have participated in one way or another for several years, there were several who joined for the first time.

“This was a wonderful experience,” said Rosemary Donaldson of Elizabeth, who submitted five recipes for her inaugural cookbook. “It was a lot of work and some stress, but well worth it.”

Donaldson and fellow first-year contestant Barbara Rhodes of Little Hocking said they chose to join this year’s recipe contest because of the enthusiasm exhibited by previous years’ participants.

“Everybody just seems to have a good time and I wanted to see if it is as much fun as it looked,” Rhodes said. “It is.”

Both women said they expect to submit recipes to the cookbook contest in the future.

“Of course I will do it again,” Donaldson exclaimed. “I don’t think I will ever miss a year from now on.”

The judges for the event were Kiki Angelos, restaurateur and accomplished cook; Patty Christopher, a food columnist for the newspaper, and accomplished cook Sarah Jalbert. Fred Ponko with the culinary staff of the Blennerhassett Hotel and 2010 cookbook contest winner served as the master of ceremonies.

Last year’s winner, Joseph Sprouse, 13, of Parkersburg had planned to be a judge but was unable to due to unforeseen circumstances. He will be invited to judge next year’s cookbook.

The presentation at the tables is one component of what the judges graded the dishes on. The other criteria were taste, preparation, originality and overall appeal.

“All of the recipes this year were excellent,” Ponko said. “There were a lot of unique recipes and flavors some pretty outstanding things and others were very interesting.”

Angelos said her favorite part of being a judge for the cookbook contest is spending time with people who have become her friends following a number of years working with them on the project.

“We have been doing this for so long that I see the tasting as a reunion,” she said of Christopher and Jalbert. “There is great company and fantastic food made by people who love to cook.”

The top three winners in each category were chosen during Wednesday’s tasting while the grand prize winner will be announced in the Nov. 24 issue of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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The winners are

COOKIES:

First place is Christmas Angel Cookies by Mrs. Joseph C. (Rosalie) Snyder of Parkersburg.

Second place is Rosalie’s Holiday Cookies by Lanita Vicars of Mineral Wells.

Third place is Hoot and Holler Cookies by Ralph Boone of Sistersville.

APPETIZERS:

First place is Buffalo Chicken Dip by Sheila Dye of LeRoy, W.Va.

Second place is Five Cheese Spinach and Artichoke Dip by Vickie Davis of St. Marys.

Third place is Gorganzola Truffles by Stephen Jones of Walker.

SOUPS:

First place is Black Bean Chicken Chili by Heather Hatcher of Parkersburg.

Second place is Broccoli, Cheese and Noodle Soup by Debbie Martin of Mineral Wells.

Third place is Potato Sausage Soup by Priscilla Mullinex of Harrisville.

SALADS:

First place is Cherry-Pineapple Congealed Salad by Janet Atkinson of Williamstown.

Second place is Southwest Pasta Salad by Tammy Morrison of Newport, Ohio.

Third place is Spinach Penne Salad by Anna Dean of St. Marys.

MAIN DISHES:

First place is Cheesy Tomato Bacon Pie by Linda Dally of Parkersburg.

Second place is Chicken Marsala Special by Betty Carmichael of Vienna.

Third place is French Toast Breakfast Casserole by Stephanie Bennett of Parkersburg.

BREADS:

First place is Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Turtle Bread by Kelly Gobel of Parkersburg.

Second place is Sweet Potato Muffins by Betty Winters of Elizabeth.

Third place is Praline Apple Bread by Jean Hilton of Parkersburg.

DESSERTS:

First place is Key Lime Ice Box Cake by Janet Heron of Vienna.

Second place is Creamy Raspberry Pie by Karen Weekley of Washington.

Third Place is Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce by Loretta Howell of Vienna.