Local Chefs to Compete in TopCookie Dessert Competition
It’s Girl Scout Cookie season, that wonderful time of the year when we get to stock up on Thin Mints, Samoas and all our favorites.
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore kicked off this welcomed tradition at a press conference yesterday and announced a dessert competition designed to cook up support for Girl Scouts and four Jersey Shore restaurants as the pandemic presses on.
The coronavirus is creating new challenges for Girl Scouts this cookie season, a quandary all too familiar with local restaurants struggling to keep their businesses open.
But the local restaurant community and Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore are coming together to support each other through the pandemic with the 2nd annual TopCookie dessert challenge on March 16, featuring iconic Girl Scout Cookies whipped up by area chefs.
Plans for the TopCookie contest were shared by Girl Scouts CEO Eileen Higgins and world-renowned Chef David Burke at the media event, which took place at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club on the Asbury Park boardwalk.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone,” said Higgins, who oversees the Girl Scout council, which encompasses nearly 10,000 girls in Monmouth and Ocean counties and approximately 4,000 adult volunteers. “We are thrilled to be able to showcase and support local restaurants and the Girl Scout Cookie Program in a unique and fun way.”
Burke said he is excited to be a part of the second edition of the TopCookie competition to help promote the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, and local restaurants, which have been battered by the pandemic.
Burke introduced the four restaurants participating in the TopCookie competition and led the drawing for the cookie flavor that each will use in their dessert creations. He was assisted by Lexi Terracciano, the top Girl Scout Cookie seller in 2020 for Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore.
Participating restaurants and the Girl Scout Cookies they will be using in their desserts are:
Cardinal, Asbury Park – Samoas
Charlie’s of Bay Head, Bay Head – Lemon-Ups
Marina Grille, Belmar – Trefoils
White Chapel Projects, Long Branch – Tagalongs
Higgins explained that chefs from these Jersey Shore eateries will present their dessert creations to a panel of celebrity judges, led by Burke, who will select the winning dessert for the title of TopCookie. The local community can also get involved by purchasing votes for their favorite restaurant at $1 a vote with a minimum donation of $10. The top vote getter will claim the People’s Choice Award, won last year by McLoone’s Restaurants.
Along with Burke, the judges are: Amelia Caverly, baker and co-owner
of Booskerdoo; James Costello, owner of Ohana Grill in Lavallette and
the 2020 TopCookie champion; Jacki Sharpe, owner of Purple Glaze
Donuts, Asbury Park; and Kacie Duesterdick and Matthew Simonik,
SeastheDish, food and restaurant influencers.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the competition will be taped and available for all ticket holders to view in the comfort of their home on March 21.
All TopCookie ticket holders will receive a $25 gift card to enjoy at one of the participating restaurants of their choice and may also purchase additional gift cards to support the eateries.
Tickets for the competition are $40 and $85 (higher price includes to-go dessert tastings) and may be purchased along with sponsorship opportunities and votes for the People’s Choice Award on the Girl Scout website at www.GSFun.org/TopCookie.
Higgins noted that Girl Scouts are eagerly accepting cookie orders. She stressed that while the focus of the Girl Scout Cookie Program has always been to help girls think like entrepreneurs and develop important skills like goal setting and money management, today’s Girl Scouts are finding new ways to market and safely deliver Girl Scouts Cookies in the COVID-era.
“Our Girl Scout Cookie entrepreneurs are sharpening their pitches for online sales and planning drive-thru cookie booths and curbside pickup,” Higgins said. “We are proud to see their creativity and resilience.”