The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Wood
The Times 

Waitsburg 4-H Kids Place at Top Chef Competition

All four participants qualify to compete at the state level


Courtesy Image

Timothy Daves enjoys sharing his marinated London Broil with one of the competiton judges.

WAITSBURG – Thirty-seven kids from the Touchet Valley participated in the Top Chef Contest on Feb. 23-25 and Feb 27-28 held at the Walla Walla County Extension Office and St. Patrick's Church in Walla Walla. Four members of the Waitsburg Homegrown Go Wild 4-H club participated, and all walked away with awards.

Timothy Daves received three first-place awards. The first was in "Table Setting" for his "Fourth of July"-themed spread. Next, he won "Food for All Occasions" by serving a marinated London Broil, risotto, garden salad, and gluten-free peach cobbler. He also received first place in the "Quick Bread" contest, for his gluten-free doughies.

"The judges were so impressed with the doughies, they asked if they could keep the recipe," said club leader Cindy Daves.

William Hong received first place awards for his "A Taste of Italy" theme in the "Table Setting" competition, and for his "Lunch On the Go" of gluten-free pizza with grapes, carrots, and a glass of rice milk. He took second place in the "Quick Fix Meal," by making meaty spaghetti sauce from scratch, served with gluten-free noodles, garden salad, and gluten-free garlic bread.

Sarah Hong received first place in "Table Setting," for her "Mom and Me" theme table and a first place for "Lunch on the Go," for her gluten-free sub sandwiches served with carrots, grapes, and raspberry lemonade. She earned a second place in "Quick Bread" by making and baking flourless fudge cupcakes.

Maddie Conard received a first place in "Table Setting" for her "Spring!" theme table, and a second place in "Favorite Foods," for making tacos.

The annual contest, held each February, is an opportunity for youth enrolled in a 4-H Foods Project to show off their cooking/baking and table-setting skills. The contest provides participants experience in planning, preparing, and serving food that is attractive and good tasting, provides an opportunity to demonstrate skills and share knowledge of nutrition and safety, and provides the opportunity to acquire and share information.

Courtesy Photo

Sarah Hong received first place for her "Mom and Me" themed table.

"Many people have allergies and/or food sensitivities to gluten and dairy. Preparing gluten and dairy-free foods and serving them at a competition shows that there are more options than just wheat. Sometimes we miss eating things that we used to, but for our health, we have to be careful what we eat and you should, too!" said club president Timothy Daves.

Daves said his favorite part of the competition was the grilling.

"Everyone stated the marinating process I used on the steak made it very flavorful, and that my steak was delicious. Food prep and cooking is a life skill everyone needs. I look forward to competing at the local level again!" Daves said.

All members who received a first-place medal are eligible to compete at the state fair level during the 2017 Washington State Fair.


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