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Our annual culinary competition

Our annual culinary competition

breadpudding-bakeoff Our 2015 Culinary Competition focus will be announced early in the year — please check back! Meanwhile, here’s what the 2014 Bread Pudding Bake-Off looked like! ……………………………………….. Congrats to our winners!

  • First Place: Vera Carroll, “Hot Summer Night Bread Pudding” Vera also was voted the People’s Choice Award winner!
  • Second Place: Joyce Silva, “Sweet Maple Ricotta Bread Pudding”
  • Third Place: Nancy Cain, “Blueberry Cheesecake Bread Pudding with Lemon Maple Cream.

Looking for the recipes? Look here! __________________________ When you make your Top 10 list of comfort foods, admit it: good old-fashioned bread pudding is on that list, if not at the top! So, here’s the perfect excuse to start perfecting your bread pudding recipe, whether it’s a family heirloom handed down from your great-grandmother, or something you dreamed up and perfected yourself. You’ll want to take your bread pudding creation and enter it into our 2014 keynote culinary event: The Great New England Bread Pudding Bake-Off.

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This year’s event will showcase Bread Pudding as an easy, economical  and delicious dessert, and a healthy alternative to processed commercial desserts. And will happen in our new Farm/Food Education Center at the River Garden, downtown Brattleboro.


Photo by RDPeyton, used under Creative Commons License

Bread Pudding is defined as a baked sweet dessert, comprised of bread, baked in a custard. It may consist of any kind of bread, milk and or cream, eggs, fruit or any number of other ingredients. For our competition, you’ll want to use ingredients that are locally or regionally produced whenever possible — we’re big on locavorism! Why organize this bake-off? “Strolling of the Heifers helps the public understand where their food comes from.  Sustainable, local food is not just healthy and delicious, but it is also easy to use to provide meals for our families. This contest is another way we make that point.” said Orly Munzing, the Stroll’s founder and executive director. In addition to their recipes, contestants will be asked to “tell the story” of their entry: If they created it, what inspired them? Or is it a family dish? Was it a secret pried from a relative? An accidental discovery? Again this year, there will be two separate judging circles. The traditional local celebrity “foodie” judges will select the first, second and third prize winners. Community judges (members of the public who taste the bread pudding at the River Garden) will award the “People’s Choice Award.”


Gov. Peter Shumlin presents the 2013 Quiche Cookoff First Prize to Tara Sullivan — photo by Kelley Fletcher

All awards will be announced on Friday evening, June 6th during the Gallery Walk Street Festival, part of the Strolling of the Heifers Weekend. During the Street Festival, the public will have a tasting opportunity at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden in order to choose their preference for the People’s Choice Award. At the conclusion of the judging, traditionally Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin has been on hand to announce the winners, and we expect he’ll join us again! Both professional and amateur chefs are invited to enter. New England-sourced breads, eggs, cheese and other dairy products are encouraged, and all ingredients should be as fresh and local as possible. All entries must be submitted using the online form below, or snail-mailed to Strolling of the Heifers (see address in rules below) to arrive no later than midnight, Friday, May 16. See complete rules at right.  Up to 10 finalists will be notified by May 22. Finalists will be asked to prepare in advance, fully bake and chill their bread pudding in a disposable 8”x12” foil cake pan (available in supermarkets) and bring it to the judging, which will take place on Thursday evening, May 29 (not open to the public). Finalists will be notified of exact location. Finalist recipes will be adapted for preparation in a commercial kitchen, and will be cooked in quantity by Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. These will be brought to the River Garden on Friday evening, June 6, where the community judges will have their opportunity to taste the finalist recipes during the Street Festival, and vote to select the “People’s Choice” award winner. Winners will be announced at about 7:00 p.m. that evening from the entertainment stage on Main Street. Finalists are encouraged to attend. Professional judges will be recruited from Brattleboro’s extensive farm, food and culinary community.



  • First prize — $300 to spend at King Arthur Flour (online or at their retail store), plus a King Arthur gift basket and a Stroll cookbook
  • Second prize — $150 to spend at King Arthur Flour (online or at their retail store), plus a gift basket from Grafton Village Cheese Company and a Stroll cookbook
  • Third prize — $50 to spend at King Arthur Flour (online or at their retail store), plus a gift basket from Cabot Cheese and a Stroll cookbook
  • People’s Choice Award — a $75 gift certificate to the Marina restaurant, plus a Maple Gift Basket from Coombs Family Farms


  1. Who can enter: The contest is open to amateur as well as professional cooks. All entries should be for a family-sized portion of bread pudding. By definition the bread pudding must contain bread of any kind, eggs, milk or cream, and other ingredients at the contestant’s option. To be clear, we are looking for sweet bread puddings here, generally used as desserts, not “savory” ones such as strata.
  2. How to enter: All entries should be submitted via the online entry form below, or received via snail mail at 105 Partridge Rd., E. Dummerston VT 05346 no later than midnight, May 16, 2014, and must include the following required information:

    • A complete recipe in standard format listing exact ingredients, quantities and preparation steps. Each recipe should specify how many servings, of what size, it will produce.
    • Name, address, phone number and email address of entrant.
    • Business affiliation of entrant, if professional.
    • The “story” of your recipe: If you created it, what inspired you? Or is it a family dish? If so, how have you adapted it? Was it a secret pried from a relative? Do you serve it on any special occasions?
  3. Judging: All entries will be reviewed by the judges, and up to ten finalist entries will be selected. Finalists will be notified by May 22. Finalists must prepare their entry in advance and bring the chilled pudding in a disposable 8”x12” FOIL cake pan (available in supermarkets) to the judging location on May 29, (time and location to be announced). This judging will not be open to the public. The decisions of the judges are final.
  4. Ingredients: The use of locally sourced bread, eggs, dairy and other products is encouraged. By entering, contestants warrant that the recipe they supply represents their own creation and is not a duplication of a copyrighted recipe.
  5. People’s Choice Award: Selected finalist recipes will be adapted for commercial preparation and cooked in quantity in the kitchen of The Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. These versions will be offered for limited public tasting at the River Garden on Friday evening, June 6, where members of the public will vote on a People’s Choice Award winner.
  6. Basis of judging: For both the selection of finalists and the final judging, recipes and puddings will be judged based on creative use of ingredients, appearance, taste and relative ease and clarity of preparation method, and as an economical dessert and a healthy alternative to processed commercial desserts.
  7. All decisions of the judges are final.
  8. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at approximately 7:00 p.m. on June 6, at the Main Street entertainment stage, downtown Brattleboro.
  9. Publication and copyright: Recipes will be collected and published at the discretion of Strolling of the Heifers. Prize winners grant to Strolling of the Heifers and all sponsors the right to use their name, photo and (for professional entries) business affiliation in any publicity. All entrants retain copyright to recipes but grant Strolling of the Heifers and all competition sponsors non-exclusive unlimited and perpetual publication rights in any medium for their submitted recipes.

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