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Chinberg earns another green ribbon

Judge Barry Ponstein took much longer making a decision than would have been expected.

In fact, some thought that he took an unreasonably long time.

But, who could fault him for that?

Anyone who had the enviable task of judging the 10th annual Troy University Irish Celebration Cooking Contest would have done the same.

“I had a very difficult time making a decision,” Ponstein said. “Every entry was outstanding. Everything was delicious.”

However, Ponstein’s highest marks went to perennial Irish Cooking Contest winner, Gary Chinberg of Troy.

Chinberg was named the overall winner with his Dingle Bay Dungenous Crab and Seafood Stew. Alice Hayes took second place with her Irish Stew.

Chinberg also won the side dish/vegetable division of the cooking contest with his Dublin’s Famous Irish Potato Casserole and the salads/appetizer division with the Killarney Fresh Basil and Pepper Spread with herb crackers.

Tamara Stephens took first place honors in the bread division with her Irish Scones and also placed second in the dessert division.

Alyson Grumley was the winner of the dessert division with her Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes with a hint of Irish whiskey.

Chinberg said that winning green ribbon after green ribbon in the Irish Cooking Contest has not diminished his enthusiasm for the annual cooking contest.

“I love to cook and I enjoy the competition,” he said and added that the creative aspect of the contest adds even more excitement to it. “I spend a lot of time thinking about ways to present the dishes and that’s a lot of fun.”

Chinberg’s presentations are equaled only by the “tastiness” of his dishes.

Chinberg has competed in the Irish Celebration Cooking Contest for nine years and he has taken home the top prize every year except one.

“One year, there was an entry ‘Shrimp on the Barbie’ with Barbie and Ken and it was the winner,” Chinberg said and smiled as he remember the year that an unnamed Trojan visited Ireland and brought home a special recipe. “That was a good win for me.”

Chinberg said that he is considering bowing out of the Irish cooking contest after the 10th year but he didn’t chisel that in the Blarney Stone.

Gina Williamson, event coordinator, congratulated the winners and expressed appreciation to all of those who entered the Irish cooking contest and all of those who worked so hard to make it a success.

“The Irish Celebration Cooking Contest was a great success here at the Troy campus and also at the Montgomery campus on Wednesday,” Williamson said. “It’s an upbeat and exciting event as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by sampling authentic Irish cooking. We look forward to next year and another Irish Celebration Cooking Contest.”