Cookoff names contestants

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

SIDNEY — Sidney Daily News preliminary judges have named 24 area cooks as semi-finalists in the cook-off for its 32nd annual Harvest Holiday Cookbook recipe contest.

By the Sept. 30 deadline, 48 readers had submitted 233 recipes, a 21 percent increase over submissions in 2015. They came from Sidney, Anna, Jackson Center, Piqua, Fort Loramie, Celina, Yorkshire, Troy, New Knoxville, Versailles, Covington, Casstown, New Bremen, Botkins, Lewistown and Hebron, Kentucky.

All the recipes and more, including the 2016 Shelby County Fair baking contest-winning recipes, will be published in the 2016 Sidney Daily News Harvest Holiday Cookbook, which will be distributed in the Nov. 19 edition of the newspaper. It will also be available for purchase in single copy after that date.

The semi-finalists will take their prepared recipes to the Crossroads in Hardin, Oct. 15, to be judged by professional chefs and guest judges who will select a finalist in each of six categories. From those finalists, the judges will name a winner of the $300 Clancy’s 2016 Harvest Holiday Cookbook grand prize.

Damian Bumgarner, executive chef of Smiths’ Boathouse Restaurant in Troy; Mojalefa Jacob Moremi, culinary director of LanePark of Sidney; and Gary Strasser, manager of Clancy’s in Sidney, will sample dishes prepared by the home cooks and judge them on preparation methods and presentation.

Guest judges from prize-sponsoring businesses will vote with Bumgarner, Moremi and Strasser to choose category winners, who will each win $50.

Vying for the Clancy’s Desserts category prize will be Sarah Eichenauer, of Sidney, with Lemon Frozen Delights; Deborah A. Moorman, of Sidney, with Do Nothing Cake; Jan Sprunger, of Fort Loramie, with Pecan Cobbler; and Pat Woolley, of Jackson Center, with Maple Oat Nut Scones.

The Freshway Foods Mom and Pop’s Best category prize will go to either Kristi Anthony, of Covington, for Grandma Ruth’s Popeye; Sharon Asbury, of Sidney, for Five-Hour Beef Stew; Lucille Butts, of Piqua, for Zucchini Bread; or Sally Ann Jones, of Casstown, for Aunt Mona’s Spaghetti.

Roger Fulk, of Sidney, with New England Wild Rice and Apples; Nancy Morgan, of Sidney, with Rum Baked Beans; Patricia Prenger, of Anna, with Sweet Potato Nuggets; and Nicole Schaffer, of Celina, with Lovin’ Onions will compete for the Dorothy Love Retirement Community On the Side category championship.

Wilson Health will sponsor the Party Pleasers category prize. It will go to Mary Cartwright, of Sidney, for Spicy Bacon Strips; Darla Jones, of Sidney, for Mashed Potato Pecan Fudge; Mary Moeller, of New Bremen, for Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Cookies; or Shelly Pleiman, of Fort Loramie, for Beer-Battered Coconut Shrimp with Dipping Sauce.

Melissa Bowers, of Sidney, with Quick Tomato Soup with Toasted Pasta; Frank Mariano, of Sidney, with Cabbage and Potato Stew; Beverly Patzman, of Hebron, Kentucky, with Brunswick Stew; and Kelly Schmitmeyer, of Anna, with Cream Cheese Potato Soup will vie for the Sidney and Troy CarStar Soups, Stews and Chili category prize.

Contestants in the race for the Flints TV & Applicance Main Dishes category prize are Nancy Bambauer, of New Knoxville, with Cranberry Chicken; Ann Barhorst, of Anna, with Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas; Shennon Boyer, of Anna, with Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast; and Kristina Parsons, of Versailles, with Crock Pot Chicken Taquitos.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.