Peach Cook-off crowns county’s best savory, sweet peach dishes

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The 2023 Chilton County Peach Cook-off featured some of the most savory and sweetest dishes in the county, and winners were crowned. Veteran competitors who have entered the Peach Cook-off for many years were back, and new competitors joined in on the fun in the second cook-off since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chilton County Alabama Extension Office helped put on the cook-off.

Spectators filled the seats inside Senior Connection on June 17 and the judges conducted their taste tests while everyone looked on intently. Judges included Jerry and Pat Farmer, Donna Ellison, Kayla Carroll, Michele Headley and Sara Edwards Bagley.

Jason Bagley, a Chilton’s Got Talent finalist, provided entertainment for the spectators while the judging was being conducted. After the votes were tallied, three division winners were named.

In the youth division, seven youth competitors entered dishes and all were of the sweet variety ranging from cakes to cookies, even a peach pizza. In the end, Libby Kate Collins was named the top youth dish in the cook-off for the second consecutive year. Kinzley Baker’s peach paparazzi and Audra Wood’s peach delight were recognized for second and third place, respectively.

Collins put together a Chilton County peach trifle that combined peaches and freshly baked pound cake into a cup with a sweet cream.

“The idea came about because I love making pound cakes,” Collins said. “So, I decided to put that into the dish and a mixture with peaches to put it all together, and make it look pretty.”

In the adult divisions, Jaclyn Mims’ peachy pasta salad was named the top savory dish in the cook-off. Mims used peaches, bowtie pasta, cucumbers, blueberries, strawberries and chopped nuts to whip up a delicious pasta salad that left an impression on the judges.

“I knew after last year’s competition that I wanted to do something savory,” Mims said. “So, I just started looking and went through a bunch of different things until I set on something that was peachy and summery.”

The adult sweet division was highly competitive with various peach delights, cakes and sweet treats vying for the top spot. Donna Field’s easy-peezy peach upside-down cake was named the top dish, a cake she is very familiar with.

“I have made it quite a few times,” Field said. “You can never go wrong with butter and brown sugar, and I was surprised to have won. It is a great, unexpected surprise.”

More photos of all the contestants and their dishes can be found on the Chilton County Alabama Extension Office ( and the Senior Connection ( Facebook pages.