The DC State Fair – a Sweet Success!

by moderndomestic on August 30, 2010

Judging the funkiest vegetable contest. Photo by Bryan Applegate, of

Yes, I’m back. Back after a crazy week at work with DC State Fair planning, making my first ever wedding cake, and a very busy week at Treet.

I can’t even really begin to describe everything that happened at the DC State Fair, because it was so busy and we received so much support from the community, and so many people came by with their pies and cupcakes and pickles and jams and whatnot that it was rather overwhelming. The Washington Post did a lovely piece about the State Fair – I loved the interviews with the different contestants. All the photos in this post, by the way, are from the very talented Bryan Applegate at Food Newsie, who was in charge of photographing the fair (yes, I shamelessly stole the pics from his site). He also designed a great poster and schedule for us – and he’s just one example of how DCites volunteered their talents to support the fair.

Bryan's super awesome poster and postcard.

The DC State Fair day started with our jam contest – I spent quite a bit of time spooning jam onto little crackers for the judges to taste.

Jam contest! Photo by Bryan Applegate, of

Then it was onto the pickle contest, where I managed to spill pickle brine from many, many different pickles all over myself plating up pickles for the judges.

Judging the pickle contest. Photo by Bryan Applegate.

Probably the most impressive contest was the cupcake contest – we had more than 100 cupcakes arrayed in the DC State Fair Tent, and it took an entire crowd of people to help judge the first round. I was a judge in the final round, and the winning cupcake – a classic and delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting – was truly divine.

Judging - the first round of the cupcake contest. Check out the cupcakes shaped like hamburgers and the one with the District shaped cookie on top! Photo by Bryan Applegate.

I was also really taken with the pie contest submissions. Some featured beautiful classic lattice work, some had beautiful jewel-like fruit, some were topped with cut-outs of the DC Flag. I tried some of the mixed berry pies and they were delicious. It doesn’t really get better than fresh summer berries encased in pastry, you know?

Pies pies pies. Photo by Bryan Applegate.

The support that we got for the DC State Fair was really amazing. So many people reached out and offered to help us – from the Columbia Heights Day Planners, to volunteers, to sponsors, to bloggers and media who publicized the event. I was very priveleged to work with Ken and Amelia, who did the bulk of the organizing and are both supremely talented. I really can’t wait to see what happens with the Fair next year, but I already know it’s going to be bigger, better, and hopefully with some more baking related contests!

Mmmm, more cupcakes. Photo by Bryan Applegate.

DC State Fair Winners – as announced by Bryan of Food Newsie:

Best Home-Made Jam Competition
1. Mae Cooper – Red Pepper Jelly
2. Leah Nylen – Peach Vanilla Jam
3. Sara Johnis – Blackberry/Blueberry Preserves
3. Whitney Waara – Twin Berry Jam

Best Home-Made Pickle Contest
1. Audrey Chumbris – Pickled Peaches
2. David Hendrickson – White Asparagus
3. Cathy Barrow – Tomolives
3. Ed Bruske – Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles

Best Cupcake Contest
1. Katie Ashley – Carrot Cupcake
2. Farrar Williams – Chocolate Cupcake with Cookie
3. Daria Wingreen-Mason – Pistachio Cupcake

Best Home-Made Pie Contest
1. Julie Moeller – Peach and Sour Cherry
2. Amy Kunz – Dutch Apple
3. Lindsey Wahowiak – Fruits of the Forest

Homebrew Contest
1. Justin Cox – Schwartzbier
2. Christopher Mascaro – It’s A Nice Day For A Wheat Wedding
3. Mitchell West – Belgian Tripel

Funkiest Vegetable Contest
1. Mark White – Round Stripy Yellow Eggplant
2. Seth Shames – Crookneck Cucumber
3. Stacy Braverman – “Barrots”—Carrots that think they’re beets

Biggest Vegetable Contest

1. Tony Hursts’s Zucchini
2. Ed Bruske’s Zucchini
3. Nick Sementelli’s Zucchini

1. Klendy Caron’s Butternut Squash
2. Ed Bruske’s Zucchini
2. Nick Sementelli’s Zucchini
2. Tony Hursts’s Zucchini
3. Pete Chumbris’ Red Heirloom Okra

Best DC-Grown Entry
Ed Bruske – Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles

Tastiest Tomato:
1. Ryoko Yamamoto – “Golden Boy” Tomato
2. Natonne Kemp – Lemon Bell-Type Tomato
3. Audrey Chumbris – Wassaping Peach White Tomato

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

mary August 31, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I was sad to miss this. The buzz is that it was SUPER successful. Congrats are in order!


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