Peach Cook-off winners announced

Published 2:26 pm Saturday, June 23, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Sweet and savory dishes delighted the taste buds of both judges and attendees during the 2018 Chilton County Peach Cook-off.

There were 18 entries in the adult division and four participants in the youth division.

In the sweet category, Scarlett Teel won with her Chilton County Peach Pudding.

“I have been talking about doing it (the Peach Cook-off) for several years, because I knew this recipe was good,” Teel said.

Teel said she was surprised when she won the contest and enjoyed the “camaraderie of it.”

She put a peach spin on a classic pudding recipe traditionally used for bananas.

In the savory competition, Rex Cleckler was named the winner for his Sweet & Spicy Crock Peach Tenderloin.

“I cook a lot at home in the Crock Pot, and this is one of my family’s favorites,” Cleckler said.

The win came as a surprise since it was his first time competing.

“I was shocked,” Cleckler said.

Cleckler said he developed the recipe “through trial and error.”

Jackie Kendall’s Spicy Peach Chutney won the canned category.

Kendall said she chose this recipe because she likes spicy food. While she had entered the contest a few years ago, this was her first year to win the competition. To serve the chutney, Kendall put it on top of cream cheese.

Winners received a Lions Club Peach Festival T-shirt, a dish towel and $50.

In the youth division, Libby Cate Collins won the sweet category with her Peach Pie Breakfast Casserole, and Natalie Ford won the savory category with her peach salsa.

Collins said it felt good to win in her first year competing.

“I wanted to make something for breakfast with cinnamon rolls and peaches,” Collins said.

Ford said Alabama Cooperative Extension System 4-H staff members helped her find a recipe to use.

Each youth winner received a Lions Club Peach Festival T-shirt, an embroidered tote bag and $50.

Two random drawing for $100 were also held, sponsored by the Chilton County Farmers Federation.

While the judges were taste testing and selecting a winner, Jason Lea of Neighborhood Grill was demonstrating how to make Belgian waffles and peach molasses syrup for Chilton Chicken and Waffles. Lea used a lemon juicer to juice a few peaches as the base for the sauce.

A few members of the audience were called on to help whisk egg whites for the waffle mixture.

Lea said his trick for separating the yolk for the white is cracking the egg unto a plate and squeezing the yolk up with a disposable water bottle. The recipe for the sauce and waffles will be available on the Chilton County Alabama Extension Office Facebook page.

The fried chicken recipe, however, is remaining a Neighborhood Grill secret.

The Chilton County Peach Cook-off is sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Chilton County Farmers Federation Women’s Committee and Clanton Lions Club.