Amy Asper of Hyrum beat out 42 other competitors to win the first ever Best Cheesecake in the County contest with her honey peach cheesecake.
She won $500 in prizes purchased by Schreiber Foods from the Love to Cook kitchen store.
Entries were judged on taste, texture, originality and appearance, with bonus points awarded for each additional local ingredient included in the recipe. All participants were provided with 32 ounces of Schreiber cream cheese to incorporate in their entries.
Suzanne Ghaffari from Smithfield won second place and $300 in prizes with her lemon raspberry cheesecake and third place and $200 in prizes went to Julie Housley from Smithfield for her classic New York cheesecake. A special honorable mention (fourth place) was awarded to 13-year-old Xandria Falor of Logan for her maple bacon cheesecake. It was the first cheesecake she’d ever made besides the practice one she made the day before.
Entries ranged from no-bake to gluten-free, to classic to savory. Some of the delicacy titles were dark chocolate raspberry swirl, sinner’s paradise (peanut butter chocolate cheesecake), blackberry and lime, strawberry blossom and brie cheesecake with tomato caramel sauce. The contest was only open to amateur bakers who are residents of Cache County. It was part of Cache Valley Cheese and Dairy Festival celebration held Labor Day weekend.
“We were thrilled and shocked by the amount of support and participation for this first year,” said Julie Hollist Terrill, director of the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau. “It was fun to see the diversity of ages and the creativity behind the cheesecakes.”
Judges were a bit overwhelmed too, since they had to taste and analyze each of the 43 entries. Judges were Joy Brisighella, co-creator of Spice on Ice and administrator of Logan Foodies Facebook page; Margaret Gittins, owner of Smackerel catering; Sharon Sorensen, certified World Food Championship Judge; John Spencer, prepared foods and deli food service director for all of Lee’s Marketplace stores and Jonathon Walters, culinary arts instructor at Bridgerland Technical College and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu.