2019 Peach Cook-off winners announced

Published 5:03 pm Saturday, June 22, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Savory and sweet peach creations lined tables at Senior Connection for the 2019 Peach Cook-off on June 22.

Winners for this year in the adult category were Jarrett Price (savory) and Madeline Swindle (sweet).

Winners for the youth category this year were Libby Cate Collins (sweet) and Lacy Rae Heffelfinger (savory).

Swindle has competed in the cook-off for several years, but it was Price’s first time.

Although Swindle said she has placed once in previous years, she had not last year.

She won this year with a peaches and cream pie recipe that she found on the internet.

“I enjoy the competition,” Swindle said. “I like to taste everyone’s dishes, so I can get an idea of what I want to cook the next year.”

Price entered his peach pecan smoked chicken with peach chutney after his co-workers urged him to.

“Back when I was in high school, I did cooking competitions, and I did good then,” Price said. “Everybody at work was pushing me to do it. I work at the (Chilton County) Research Center.”

Price said he and his father “are always trying something different” when it comes to smoking chicken.

Peaches from the Research Center, peach wine and barbecue sauce were major components of creating the dish, Price said.

“I just really like cooking,” Price said.

Price said he also liked being able to use peaches that he had cared for under the leadership of director Matthew Price, who taught him “you got to hang peaches to make peaches.”

Price said his favorite variety of peaches, Bounty, were not available yet this season, so he used another variety.

A fellow contestant commented he knew Price was going to win as soon as he saw his entry.

In the youth division, Lacy Rae was also a first-time participant. She said she wanted to participate because her sister was. She said her mom helped her find a recipe to use in the competition.

For Libby Cate, it was her second year to win first place in the sweet category.

“I have never seen anyone make cupcakes, so I wanted to make some cupcakes,” she said.

She chose to do peach cobbler cupcakes for her entry.

“These people think I’m a good cook, which is good,” she said of the back-to-back wins.

She said her favorite peaches are ones that are “big … with the perfect ripeness.”

Each first-place winner received a Peach Festival T-shirt, commemorative rolling pin and a cash prize. Second and third place winner also received a T-shirt and cash prize.

The annual Peach Cook-off is sponsored by the Chilton County Farmers Federation Women’s Committee, Chilton County Extension Office and the Clanton Lions Club at Senior Connection.