Pie Oh My on Patch.Bethesda, Labor Day Weekend 2011

Judging Pie Contest at Bethesda Farmers MarketOn Sunday, the Bethesda Central Farm Market hosted its second annual “Bake Bethesda a Pie” contest, and I was one of the lucky judges invited to weigh in on the merits of 35 different pies.

Participants entered into the savory, sweet and youth categories. Clearly, many of these amateur bakers had extraordinary skill.

The market had invited three esteemed judges who definitely knew their way around a bakery—Deputy Food Editor of the Washington Post Bonnie Benwick and Joseph and Ruth Poupon, owners of Patisserie Poupon.

The four of us were asked to judge the pies on originality, appearance and taste. It was no easy task to decide between such luscious entries, but someone’s got to do it.

Check out the photos from the event here on Patch. (Don’t you wish we had smellavision!?!)

Each baker made a $5 contribution to Manna Food Center as an entrance fee. The second-place winner in the sweet category was an utterly stunning confection made with fig, almond and port by Victoria Lai.

Meghan Giardiello won first place in the savory category for her scrumptious sweet onion pie; it tasted like French onion soup in a pie. Maria Stechschulte took second with her country garden veggie pie.

In the sweet category, Tita Monroe took home first place for her pecan tart. The youth category was a tie between a cherry and a pecan — the winners were Maya Grayer and Alexis Russell.

Both Newton’s Table and Assaggi Mozzarella Bar provided gift certificates to the winners. Le Crueset gave a pie pan to the runner-up. After the judging, the organizers cut into the pies, and everyone was invited to try them.

Congratulations to the winners, and special thanks to the Bethesda Central Farm Market’s Mitch Berliner, Debra Moser and Ann Brody Cove for organizing this delicious event.

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