Almost 400 people enjoyed samples and voted for their favorite delectable sweets and gourmet coffee treats at the first Dessert and Coffee Competition and Expo 2017. The March 26 event was held at Temeku Hills Ballroom and was organized by Robin McCoy and Terri King of Women Organizing Women, Inc.
“This event showcases the sweet creations of professional and amateur pastry chefs as well as the smooth roasts and brews of local coffee shops and baristas,” said McCoy, “It provides exposure for these businesses to the public and is a great way to fund raise for the Lydia Project and the Women’s Support Conference 2017.”
Culinary students from the Oak Grove Center for Education, Treatment & and the Arts won the “Cookie Battle” raising $176; Linfield Christian School Softball Team came in second and donated their cookie sales money as well.
First Place in the Pour Over Competition went to Press Espresso, who also won People’s Choice Award for their coffee, a butterscotch cold brew.
“This is a great event for a good cause,” said co-owner Jasmyne Wooten, “We’ll definitely be back next year.”
First Place in the Amateur Baking Division was awarded to Dani Ferguson of Dessert Girlie. She made gluten-free tiramisu cupcakes.
First Place in the Professional Division was won by Chef Lisa Ballard of E.A.T. Marketplace. Her entry was an olive oil blood orange cake with basil foam topped with a fairy dust of strawberry and blood orange caramel glaze.
The homemade toffee of “Two Chicks” was a big hit and won the People’s Choice award. The two sisters – Stacy Blacketer and Brandi Tomaszewski – were test-marketing their toffee, made with almonds, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, in anticipation of potentially starting up their own business.
“We have the healthiest dessert in the room,” said Taryn Broe of Juice It Up! The rose ice cream from Saffron Spot drew popular acclaim.
Including the award winners, 34 dessert and coffee businesses competed or sponsored this year, including Intazza, Dunkin’ Donuts, Augie’s Coffee Roasters, Juice It Up!, Corner Bakery Café, Edible Arrangements, Temecula Sweets, Baskin Robbins, Old Town Spice & Tea Merchants, The Old Town Sweet Shop, Laurent’s Le Coffee Shop, Mrs. G’s, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Saffron Spot, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Boyds Coffee, Cheflavor, The Kilted Cake & Supply, Ryan Bros Coffee, Maui Wowi, EAST Coffee, Terri’s Tasty Cupcakes and Robin’s Nest.
Judges for this year’s event were Chef Leah DiBernardi, founder of E.A.T. Marketplace, Chef Mike Simpson, food blogger Jeanette Ferguson of “Fergies Bites,” and master specialty coffee roaster Mark Christman.
“Thanks to the community for their support in making this first year a great success,” said McCoy, “We plan to make this an annual event.”
The Women’s Support Conference will be held Sept. 8 and 9 at the Riverside Convention Center. W.O.W. is a supporter of micro-business women in the U.S. and Africa.
For more information, visit www.womenorganizingwomeninc.org.