Debbie Reynolds of Waldorf took top honors in the National Oyster Cook-off held on October 19 in Leonardtown. Her Oyster and Chipotle Grits recipe took first place in the main dish category and won the overall grand prize.
Fifty chefs from as far away as Oregon entered recipes for consideration in the contest, open to cooks of all skill levels. Of those, nine were selected to attend the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival, where they competed before a panel of judges.
The judges picked one winner in each of the three categories – hors d’oeuvre, soup/stew and main dish – based on taste and creativity. Reynolds won the overall prize of $1,000, an engraved silver tray and the national title. The other category winners took home cash prizes, ranging from $150 to $300.
Marty Hyson of Millersville won the hors d’oeuvre honor with his Grilled Oyster Reggiano. Winning both soup/stew and People’s Choice was Robert Johnson of Bushwood with his Merchant Mariner Oyster Rockefeller Chowder. Ronna Farley of Rockville earned the Best Presentation Award with her Crispy Oyster and Red Pepper Salsa Bruschetta.
More information on the National Oyster Cook-off is available at http://usoysterfest.com.
source: MD DNR