By popular vote, Evan Cassidy’s two maple syrup-themed desserts took first place in First County Bank’s cooking contest. As part of the March 1 contest Cassidy, a first-year student at Gateway, had to provide 300 samples of a dish using maple syrup as an anchor ingredient for sampling by the public. His maple meringue with cinnamon and toasted almonds, and sweet potato cupcakes with maple butter frosting and candied bacon proved to be a crowd favorite.
The contest, held at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, brought together the culinary talents of four teenagers, including 15-year-old Cassidy: Hunter Zampa, winner of the Food Network’s “Teen Invasion: Chopped”, who prepared double maple donuts with candied bacon and maple glaze; Marissa Young, who baked chocolate cupcakes and maple butter cream frosting topped with shaved chocolate and sea salt; and Hannah Bukzin, who prepared an appetizer of shaved Brussels sprouts with candied almonds and bacon with a maple syrup glaze.
Cassidy currently majors in culinary arts and hotel management. After graduation he hopes to attend the Disney Culinary Program.
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