PORTLAND, Maine, Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Laurie Lufkin, of Essex, Mass. beat out 29 other amateur cooks from across New England on Saturday to capture the $10,000 Grand Prize in the second annual New England Dairy Cook-Off® Presented by Hood® Sour Cream.
Lufkin won with her recipe for New England Buttermilk Pumpkin Cakes with Sour Cream Apple Caramel and Dried Cranberries. Jessie Grearson, of Falmouth, Maine, came in second with her Bombay-Style Crunch Fish Tostada Bites with Sriracha-Lime Sour Cream. And Mary Jo Fletcher LaRocco, of North Kingstown, RI, finished third with her Turkey Scaloppine with Lemon-Thyme Cream Sauce over Cranberry Polenta.
"It was an exciting day of cooking in Portland, and we'd like to thank all of our amateur chefs for their creativity. We saw some new and inventive ways to use Hood products," said Lynne Bohan, HP Hood spokesperson. "Ultimately, though, there could be only one winner. Laurie won over the judges by best exemplifying the judging criteria. Her recipe for New England Buttermilk Pumpkin Cakes with Sour Cream Apple Caramel and Dried Cranberries was great-tasting, creative and beautifully presented."
Competition heated up at Portland's Ocean Gateway terminal at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30th. Competitors were divided into five categories: breakfast/brunch, soups/chowders, appetizers/side dishes, lunch/dinner (entree) and dessert. One person from each New England state competed in each category. Competitors had 40 minutes to prepare and plate their dishes.
By 2 p.m., the cream—Hood Cream, of course—had risen to the top. A panel of judges helped narrow the field from 30 semifinalists to five finalists. Lufkin, Grearson and LaRocco were joined in the finals by:
Linda Rohr, Darien, Conn.—Sassy Shrimp Court Bouillon with Asiago Crostini
Valerie Szlatenyi, Wakefield, RI— Lobster Newburg Eggs Benedict with Roasted Asparagus Tips and Pine Nut Gremolata on a Toasted Portuguese Sweet Muffin
With New England Cable News personality Billy Costa hosting the event, the five finalists went head-to-head in front of a live audience for the $10,000 Grand Prize.
Judges Romann Dumorne, Rick Tarantino, Annie Copps, Peggy Poole, Ph.D., and J. Desmond Keefe III determined that Lufkin's recipe best combined the qualities of taste, presentation/appearance and creativity/originality.
Each of the semi-finalists received a prize of $100; each of the finalists, except for the winner, received $500.
Founded in 1846, today Hood is one of the largest branded dairy operators in the United States. Hood is the number-one dairy brand in New England, and Hood's portfolio of national and super-regional brands and franchise products includes Hood, Kemps, Crowley Foods, Simply Smart Milk, Heluva Good!, LACTAID®, BAILEYS® Coffee Creamers, HERSHEY®'S Milk and Milkshakes, Fiber One® Cottage Cheese and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze®. For more information about Hood, please visit www.Hood.com.
SOURCE HP Hood