It was outstanding! On Sunday January 18, for a brief 90 minutes, the worship space of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of SCV was turned into a den of chocolate scrumptiousness enjoyed by church members, guests, SCV Foodies, contestants and the community at large – just like last year’s successful Chili Cook Off.
Both savory and sweet items from over a dozen contestants included dishes made by professional cooks: Salmon with Blueberry Dark Chocolate BBQ Sauce created by Sonja Randall of Smokin’ BarBQuties, Chocolate Pasta with Smoky Tomato Chocolate Sauce by Culinary Wonders Cooking Studio, Velata Triple Threat Brownies by Scentsy Rep Mary Gregory, and Dark Chocolate Truffles with Gold Luster contributed by Kim Larsen of PK’s Chocolates.
Some of the items made by non-chefs included two platters of fresh fruit provided as a palate cleanser, Deconstructed Enchilada De Pavo Con Mole’ Negro Oaxaqueno (trophy winner), as well as White Chocolate Baba Ghannouj (savory winner), Ultimate Chocolate Cake (sweet winner), Chocolate Ganache Truffles with Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce, Chocolate Pie with Graham Cracker Crust, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles, Chocolate-Dipped Candied Bacon, Mama’s Hot Tablea Cocoa – a hot chocolate made with chocolate from the Philippines…
Facebook album link, viewable for anyone: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10204763197347206.1073741894.1455706632&type=1&l=b003aca9d2
As all of the dishes were labeled with an ingredient list, neither guests nor judges knew who was responsible for which delectable treat, all were anonymous until the awards were handed out.
Two certificates, one for the best savory selection and one for the sweetest were awarded to Karen Ratliff and Danika Sanchez respectively. The winner of the Best Chef de Chocolate 2015 trophy went to Scott Ervin.
Ervin commented, “There were a lot of great entries. Molé is a ton of work and, honestly, it’s not a universally appealing dish. I was a little surprised, but definitely honored, when they read my name.”
“It was a fun event, and a great way to meet new foodies (or put faces to names that I recognize from Facebook!). I’m looking forward to this being an annual event, and I know that the level of entries will be exponentially better every year!” Sanchez said.
Ratliff added, “All I have to say is that it was a fun event – masterfully orchestrated and publicized…I’m happy it was such a success…”
Contestants included Scott Ervin, Todd Wilson, Culinary Wonders, Mary Gregory, Lucy Bates, Teagan Kowitz, Kim Larsen, Karen Ratliff, Rena Slabich, Missi Hickam, Stacy Fortner, Lynan Zamba, Cassandra Firemark, Barbara McCoy, Julie Olsen, Julie Randazzo – Alli, Danika Sanchez, Nerissa Black and Isabel Lake.
The happy-to-do-the-job-judges were SCV Foodies Mariano Bascon, Hilary Schardein and Larry McClements.
The leader of the SCV Foodies group, Todd Wilson said, “This event was a great display of the talent that is in the kitchens of Santa Clarita Valley. It’s great to see everyone come together and share that talent with each other, which is what SCV Foodies us all about.”
And none of it could have been done without church volunteers and donors that included Eve Bushman, Larry McClements, Lois Linnert, Rich Jaffke, Ed Fella, Lucy Bates, Glenda Nowakowski, Renee Foley, Bob Thompson,Trish Lester, Barbara Cogswell, Kevin Ratliff, Chris Hankla, Diane Tamburello, Rick Lott, Robert McLaughlin; NCWD and Christine Maslanka; SOZO coffee.
Now stay tuned, because next year, unless they can get it together sooner, could possibly be …another out-of-the-box idea! (For additional reading, Jim Holt, Signal Senior Staff Writer covered the event in a front-page article here: http://www.signalscv.com/section/36/article/131916/)