A panel of judges led by celebrity Chef David Burke selected Ohana Grill, a restaurant in Lavallette, as the TopCookie winner! The People's Choice Award went to McLoone's Restaurants!
ASBURY PARK, NJ: On Thursday, Feb. 6, from 6-9 p.m., at Asbury Lanes, in Asbury Park, something gooey and oh-so-delicious happened for over 200 lucky tasters! It was the culmination of "TopCookie"-A Girl Scout Cookie Competition that began formation a month prior at the Salt Creek Grille in Rumson.
The judges' choice was a cheesecake and pistachio concoction made with Samoa cookies by Ohana Grill owners Dana and James Costello! And...voted #1 by the public was a creamy tiramisu dessert with bites of Tagalong cookies whipped up by McLoone's pastry chef JoAnne Macalik. Event guests and the public selected the People’s Choice Award by casting votes at a $1 a vote.
VIDEO: Take a peek at the judges sampling the TopCookie Winner- Ohana Grill's sampler of Cheesecake with Samoa Cookie crust on the bottom, topped with coconut flakes and homemade caramel and a chocolate ganache tart with pistachio and Samoa cookie and homemade caramel topping.
The other contenders were: Nicholas Creamery, an ice cream shop in Atlantic Highlands and Fair Haven, which scooped out small bowls of an ice cream dessert with Trefoils, and Talula’s, an Asbury Park eatery that baked a mini croissant with Do-Si-Dos. Students from the Ocean County Center for Culinary Arts Training, who train at Cuisine on Green at Atlantis in Little Egg Harbor, made a tasty macaroon with Thin Mints. Chef David Burke was asked to create a signature event treat from the new Lemon-ups cookie. As guests walked into Asbury Lanes the first treat they received was a lemon curd tartlet with Lemon-up shell and crumbs, and topped with blueberry compote, produced by David Burke's pastry chef; Stuart Marx.
The stage held popular restaurateurs and philanthropists Steve Bidgood, owner of Salt Creek Grille in Rumson, and Tim McLoone of McLoone’s Restaurants, emceed the cookie competition. Celebrity judges included: world-renowned Chef David Burke of DRIFTHOUSE by David Burke in Sea Bright; Patty Caneda, owner of the Cuban- fusion restaurant Caneda’s White Rooster in Toms River; Jeremy Grunin, of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation; Tom Hayes, director of Consumer and Community Relations at New Jersey Natural Gas; and Carol Stillwell, chief executive officer of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc.
The venue was pumped with energy as guests enjoyed their sugar rush, while being entertained by the playful interaction between the judges and emcees. Tickets to benefit the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, were $75 and included tastings of dessert entries, light dinner fare, cash bar and of course...bowling! The money raised at the TopCookie event will go towards funding the Girl Scout experience for underprivileged girls.
About Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves more than 10,000 girls ages 5-18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties, providing a time-tested leadership experience that inspires and motivates them to take action for themselves and their communities. For over 107 years, Girl Scouts has helped girls become women of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For information on how to join, volunteer, partner, or donate, visit gsfun.org or call (800) 785-2090