Culinary competitions highlight East Providence weekend community events

Rumford Lions host “Lasagna Cook Off,” Historical Society “Great Rumford Bake Off”

By Mike Rego
Posted 5/9/19

EAST PROVIDENCE — Culinary delights are on order this weekend in city as two local organizations plan competitions, the Rumford Lions Club hosting its inaugural “Lasagna Cook Off” on Friday …

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Culinary competitions highlight East Providence weekend community events

Rumford Lions host “Lasagna Cook Off,” Historical Society “Great Rumford Bake Off”

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Culinary delights are on order this weekend in city as two local organizations plan competitions, the Rumford Lions Club hosting its inaugural “Lasagna Cook Off” on Friday night, May 10, and the East Providence Historical Society conducting its first “Great Rumford Bake Off” on Sunday, May 12.

The Lions Club event takes place at the Santa Maria Club on Broadway starting at 6:30 p.m. Capacity is for 220 guests and some tickets, $20 per person, may be available at the door.

The menu, prepared by Lions Club members, features both Italian lasagnas and Greek pastichios along with a choice of Greek or Italian Salads, bread, coffee and either Greek Baklava or Italian Cookies for dessert.

“It’s a night out to have a nice meal,” said past Lions Club president Charlie Tsonos. “We have some very good cooks in the club and because we have so many good cooks we have these nights, like we do in the fall with the Harvest Dinner.”

The Lasagna Cook Off is an internal competition among “Italian” and “Greek” teams, with three to five people on each. At the end of the evening, diners will select which version of the main course, lasagna or pastichio, was the night’s best. The event is a fundraiser for the Lions Club. The net proceeds will be donated to the Scholarship Foundation of East Providence, the R.I. Lions Children’s Cancer Fund, Inc., the R.I. Lions Sight Foundation, Inc. and other charities.

“This is the first time we’re trying this,” Mr. Tsonos added. “Just like the Harvest Dinner, it was so successful we’ve repeated it three or four times, so maybe this takes off as well.”

The “Great Rumford Bake Off” is being held in conjunction with the Historical Society’s annual “Old Fashioned Family Fun Day” and as well in part to note the 160th anniversary of Rumford Baking Powder. The event takes place at the Society’s home base, Hunt’s Mills in Rumford. Check-in for competitors begins at 11 a.m., the same time the Fun Day begins.

As well as the Bake Off, food trucks The Burgundian and Rocket will also be on site. Included in the events is the formal dedication of the Society’s new education center at Hunt House. Judging for the competition opens at noon.

There are two divisions of competitors, adults (18-and-older) and juniors (ages 9-17). Home bakers and professional bakers were eligible to enter. The categories for entries are cakes, cookies/dessert bars, scones/dessert biscuits and muffins. Quite relevant to the competition, recipes must include the use of Rumford Baking Powder.

The judging criteria is appearance, taste and creativity. The first place winner in the Adult Division will win $200 and a Great Rumford Bake Off trophy. The first place winner in the Junior Division will win $100 and a Great Rumford Bake Off trophy. The second and third place winners in each division will win a ribbon and gift card.

“It is getting exciting as entries from around the state and Massachusetts are coming in,” said Bake Off event chairwoman Leslie Tente.

“I received an entry from a woman whose grandmother emigrated here and worked at Rumford Chemical. Her picture is on the mural at Seven Stars (Bakery),” Mrs. Tente continued. “It warms my heart to see this special connection and what the Bake Off means to her.”

Mrs. Tente added, due to a rush of inquiries about registration, the deadline was extended beyond its initial date of May 1. As of last week, there were 30 entries. After the judging and awards ceremony, the remaining desserts will be offered to patrons.

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