Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hometown-Homegrown and the Virtual Cookie Table

Pittsburgh has many unique culinary traditions – from sandwiches topped with French fries to “chip-chopped” ham – but none of these customs are sweeter than the cookie table. Often set out at weddings or other local celebrations, traditional cookie tables are stacked with hundreds or even thousands of homemade treats.

Photo credit: Christina Montemurro

And now you'll have a chance to add your favorite recipe to a "virtual cookie table" for your chance to win prizes, serious bragging rights and the title of Pittsburgh's best cookie chef!

Some of you might remember when I entered a cooking competition hosted by GoodTaste! Pittsburgh last fall.  It was a COMPLETE blast and, while I didn't win, I had an outstanding experience and wouldn't have traded it for the world. Now, it's your turn!

The Senator John Heinz History Center and GoodTaste! Pittsburgh are encouraging local bakers to submit their best cookie recipes, photos, and unique stories behind their recipes to now through Friday, May 25.

The History Center will then upload all submissions to its Facebook page on June 1, when fans can vote on the best recipes and stories by “liking” the submission.

The top five finalists will have their recipes baked by Priory Fine Pastries and then judged by a team of expert panelists at the upcoming Hometown–Homegrown® event on Sat., June 23, at the History Center.

The Virtual Cookie Table competition winner will be featured on a special television episode of Chris Fennimore’s “WQED Cooks” on Oct. 13 that will focus on the cookie table phenomenon in Western Pennsylvania. Additional prizes will also be awarded to the finalists and competition winner.

Not a cookie chef?  You can still enjoy the magic that GoodTaste! Pittsburgh never fails to present by attending Hometown–Homegrown on June 23 at the Heinz History Center.

This sister event to the GoodTaste! Pittsburgh Expo was created as a fun and flavorful show to celebrate the region’s intense and apparent fervor for food. Visitors to Hometown–Homegrown can sample a delicious assortment of local foods from nearly 50 local vendors, including several Strip District eateries, and swap recipes with some of the region’s best known eateries.

WQED’s Chris Fennimore, Rick Sebak, and other local chefs will reveal their culinary secrets with visitors as part of special cooking demonstrations throughout the day in the History Center’s new Weisbrod Kitchen Classroom.

Admission to Hometown–Homegrown will be included as part of regular History Center admission ($10 for adults, $9 for visitors age 62+, and $5 for students and children ages 6-17, History Center members and children age 5 and under are admitted free). For more information on this event, contact Lauren Uhl at 412-454-6392 or

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