SIDNEY — Three area chefs will select winners of the 32nd annual Sidney Daily News Harvest-Holiday Cookbook Cook-Off when finalists take their prepared dishes to the cook-off Oct. 15 at the Crossroads in Hardin.
Damian Bumgarner, of Piqua, executive chef of the Bridge in Sidney; Gary Strasser, of Anna, manager of Clancy’s in Sidney; and Mojalefa Jacob Moremi, of Sidney, culinary director of LanePark in Sidney, will consider four entries in each of six categories before selecting category winners and a grand prize winner.
Judges representing each business that has sponsored a category prize will evaluate entries in the appropriate categories, as well.
Bumgarner, a native of Lockington, got his culinary start at Little Caesar’s pizza at the age of 17. Moving to the Piqua Country Club to wash dishes eventually gave him an opportunity to begin cooking. Steve Smith hired him as executive chef of the Caroline in Troy at its launch in 2008. Bumgarner won the Chef’s Quest competition in Dayton. In June, he was hired as executive chef of the Bridge.
Strasser has probably always had a passion for cooking food. He started working at Borden Burger in Bellefontaine at 16. After two and a half years there, he moved to an area McDonald’s for a management position. Following that, he managed a Wendy’s for 14 and a half years. For the last 20 years, he has managed the Clancy’s in Sidney. But being a manager rather than a chef doesn’t mean he doesn’t know his way around a kitchen. He learned how to cook by watching and helping his mother, Tina, and got helpful tips from his wife, Elisa. He stole recipes from both. Strasser learned to prepare food for large groups by making meals at St. Jacob Lutheran Church in Anna. He expanded his cooking interests and horizons through cooking demonstrations at Amos Memorial Public library during their summer programs. That knowledge inspired international meals at Clancy’s.
Moremi was born and raised in South Africa and moved with his family to the United States in 1988. He is a 1990 Sidney High School graduate and briefly attended Sinclair Community College’s culinary program. His first leadership role in a restaurant was at Bullies Sports Bar and Grill in Piqua in 1994, where he was head cook. He also worked as a chef for Senese Food Service at the Honda Engine Plant in Anna. In 1999, he served as sous chef at Michael Anthony’s Pasta And Grill in Sidney and then at the Inn at Versailles, and during that time, he also worked at Captian’s Point in Lakeview. He has been at LanePark for almost three years.
To participate in this contest, home cooks have until 5 p.m., Sept. 16, to submit up to three recipes in each of the following six categories: main dishes; desserts; party pleasers; soups, stews and chili; on the side; and mom and pop’s best. Sponsoring businesses who will judge the respective categories are Flint’s TV & Appliances, Clancy’s, Wilson Health, Sidney and Troy CarStar; Dorothy Love REtirement Community and Freshway Foods. Clancy’s also sponsors the grand prize.
All recipes must be typed. They must include the names of the dishes, the categories their submitted in, complete lists of ingredients and instructions, and the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of the submitters.
Emailed recipes are preferred and can be sent to SDNrecipes@civitasmedia.com. Recipes in hard copy can be mailed or delivered to the Sidney Daily News, 1451 N. Vandemark Road, Sidney, OH 45365.
For information, call 937-538-4824.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.