Sarah Maricelli Wins Peach Cookery Competition

Congratulations to Ruston resident Sarah Maricelli*! She recently won the Peach Cookery Contest at the annual Louisiana Peach Festival, sponsored by Louisiana Life Magazine. Read more about the contest in the story below, written by Jessica Darden of The Ruston Daily Leader.


Fish dish earns Peach Cookery prize

By Jessica Darden, The Ruston Daily Leader,


When thinking of peach dishes, most would naturally gravitate toward peach cobbler, but each year locals test out their culinary skills to see what new peach dish they can conjure up for the annual Peach Cookery Contest.


Sarah Maricelli, formerly of Covington and now of Ruston, took home the Grand Prize for the Adult Division on Friday with her rendition of Cajun Tilapia with Fresh Peach Salsa.


“I write an amateur food blog, so I am always looking for new recipes to try,” said Marcicelli.


“This just seemed like something fun to do, sort of a challenge. I had made the tilapia with mangos before, so I decided to try out the peaches.”


This was Maricelli’s first time to compete in the cookery contest. Her prize was a hotel stay at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans.


Other winners in the Adult Division were:
Cobblers — Stacey Long, Not Yo Mama’s Peach Cobbler, first; Robin Kirkham, Peach N Cream Cobbler, second; and Kakie Elshout, Family’s Favorite Peach Cobbler, third.
Other Peach Dishes — Sarah Maricelli, Cajun Tilapia with Fresh Peach Salsa, first; and Maddie Price, Peach Salsa, tied with Allison Upshaw, B.L.P., for second.
Other Desserts — Pat O. Smith, Peach Festival Cheesecake, first; Mary Webb, Easy Skillet Peach Pie, second; and Jean Pesnell, Fresh Peach Pie, third.


Kim Birch, owner of Townsend House Gifts (sponsor of the event), said although entrants seemed to be down for this year’s contest, only 30-35 dishes, there was no indication in the lack of quality in the dishes that were entered.


“The way some of the dishes were presented was different this year,” she said. “There was one fudge dish that had a very unique display, but other than that the dishes were what judges were used to, besides of course the tilapia dish.”


Winners of the Youth Division were:
Grand Prize — Jon Childress, Peaches and Cookies Icebox.
Other Desserts — Jon Childress, Peaches and Cookies Icebox, first; and Lucy Parks, Peach Bite Delights, second.


Judging for the dishes is based on taste, texture, appearance, peach flavor and creativity.


Although most entrants create only one dish for the entire contest, the rules state, “Anyone may enter as many dishes as they wish in any given category, but each dish entered must be prepared by the person whose name it is entered.”


Rules for the contest also go on to say that any type of peach may be used, and that there should be approximately four servings per dish.


Click here for more articles from The Ruston Daily Leader.


*An earlier version of this article included the incorrect spelling of Sarah Maricelli's name. We apologize for the error.

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