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With Labor Day sweetly behind us, its time to start thinking about plans for fall. We at Morningsider always look forward to the Harlem Harvest Festival hosted by Harlem Park to Park on the saturday of Columbus Day weekend, which falls on October 11. This year, HP2P is stepping its debut Bake-Off and Cook-Off Contests with a new exciting ring. The contest is a juried competition featuring original creations by Harlem residents with opportunities for winners to launch their businesses in their own backyard. .Last year’s Bake-Off winner, Jean Chatman, owner of Chatman J Cakes, successfully sold her winning Zucchini Bread to Harlem Shake, where it continues to be carried today along with her Apple pie, Sweet potato pie, Sweet potato cheesecake and Red velvet cake.
There opportunities for aspiring chefs of all ages, with categories for both children (ages 8 to 18) and adult. Children are invited to submit cupcakes. Adult categories include Best Pie, Best Cake, Best Cookies/Brownies, and Best Rum Dessert, a special category sponsored by Harlem’s La Bodega 47 Social Club, known for its extensive collection of rums.
The bake-off will feature 2 rounds of screening, including an initial round based on review of written recipes and submitted images, a second round with judges tasting the actual desserts and offering mentoring advice, and a final round with finalists bringing their creations to the festival for the judges and festival goers to sample and vote on.
For the Cook-Off, , contestants are invited to create a healthy dish of their choice (vegetarian or meat) and a healthy side dish. The 3 judging phases are the same as the bake-off. Winners will receive cash prizes and dinners to both Melba’s and Sylvia’s restaurants, among other prizes.
Prizes for the Bake-Off include an opportunity to have the winning desserts featured weekly at Make My Cake during the month of November; as well as on the menu at 67 Orange Street. Yeah baby! In addition, the cook-off winners will have the opportunity to take a free Food Management Course at City College of New York Continuing & Professional Studies as part of the Harlem Ambassador Culinary Training Initiative.
Ready those spatulas and spots and pans – the cooking games are on!
All initial entries are due by September 15. For complete rules and entry forms, go to www.harlemsalive.com/harlemharvest.