Four Jersey Shore restaurants are vying for bragging rights in Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore’s TopCookie dessert competition this week to raise support for local Girl Scouts.
Two awards are at stake – the TopCookie Award, chosen by a panel of judges led by celebrity Chef David Burke, and the People’s Choice Award, selected by the community through online voting.
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But the real winner, says Eileen Higgins, CEO of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, is “every girl who will benefit from the proceeds of this friendly competition, which will support access to programs to keep Girl Scouts connected and engaged during this challenging and isolating time.”
Chefs gathered today at the Girl Scout Council’s Program Activity Center in Farmingdale to impress the judges with their tasty desserts created with iconic Girl Scout Cookies. A small audience of Girl Scout supporters cheered on the chefs, however, the winning restaurants won’t be revealed to the community until Sunday, March 21.
Higgins explained that due to coronavirus restrictions, Girl Scouts opted to record the competition and invite supporters to view the showdown on YouTube at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced on the Girl Scout Facebook page (@GirlScoutsJS) later that day at 7 p.m.
The participating restaurants and the Girl Scout Cookies they incorporated into 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
Alongside 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
- Kacie Duesterdick and Matthew Simonik, SeastheDish, food and restaurant influencers
Emmy Award winning journalist Kimberly Kravitz is emcee of the competition.
Voting for the People’s Choice Award will continue through 5 p.m. on Sunday. Votes are $1 each and tickets to view the competition are $40 and include a $25 restaurant gift card. Both can be purchased at GSFun.org/TopCookie.
The restaurants have been encouraging their fans to vote for them for the People’s Choice Award since Girl Scouts announced the competition in January, marking the start of Girl Scout Cookie season. Last year’s winner was McLoone’s Restaurants.
Higgins noted that additional gift cards may be purchased to support the four participating restaurants. “The restaurant community has always been here for Girl Scouts. This is a fun way to come together to support each other,” she added.
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore provides leadership opportunities to nearly 10,000 girls in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Support for the TopCookie fundraising event will help ensure that all area girls interested in becoming Girl Scouts can join, regardless of ability to pay, Higgins said.
The annual Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls lifelong lessons such as how to manage money, set goals, meet deadlines, work well with others, as well as how to think like an entrepreneur.
About Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves nearly 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 100 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.