A coffee toffee pecan crunch cheesecake baked in a water bath and featuring cappuccino chips, a crust of pecan cookies and pecan granola bars and a white chocolate topping took the blue ribbon at the L.A. County Fairís annual cheesecake contest. Complementing the combination of flavors was a creamy texture, noted George Geary, for whom the contest is named. The creator of the delectable edible was Pat Lapiezo, of La Mesa, California.
Marilyn Herman, of San Bernardino, won second prize with a turtle-flavored cheesecake based on the much-loved chocolate-and-caramel candy of the same name. Third-place winner was Patty Vredenburg, of Pomona, with a pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger-snap crust.
Four judges tasted their way through 23 entries in the contest, which took place at the Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 12. A lone male contestant entered, along with many women who have participated in the annual Fair cheesecake contest for many years. One is described as the ďgrand dame of cheesecakes.Ē
The four judges, who along with their culinary skills share a love of eating, rated cheesecake entries based on taste (40%), originality/creativity (30%), appearance (20%) and ease of preparation (10%). Contest winners received an autographed copy of Gearyís 125 Best Cheesecake Recipes cookbook. First- and second-place winners also received a $200 and $75 Williams Sonoma gift card, respectively.
Geary is the coordinator of Culinary Styles, the Fairís food and food demonstration division. When he not at the Fair, he teaches full-time across the country at culinary schools and sponsors culinary adventures to France, Italy and Belgium.
For more information about the Fairís cheesecake contest, visit Cheesecake Contest. For general information about the Fair, which runs through Sunday, Sept. 30, visit www.lacountyfair.com. china