Correction 9:48 a.m.: The name of the sorority that helped with the contest is Delta Sigma Theta. My apologies for the error.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the first round of competition in the Sweet Potato Pie Bake-Off for the Harrison Museum of African American Culture. Well, the final round took place on Saturday at the Henry Street Festival in Roanoke, and I’ve got news about the winners. But first, a little background.
During the first round, 14 contestants were whittled down to six by a panel of judges made up of local chefs. The remaining six were each told to bring enough samples of their pie to the festival to feed 200 guests. That seems like a lot, but the samples were about 1-inch squared, according to coordinator Helen Dean.
Guests at the festival voted to pick the three People’s Choice winners. Also at the festival, organizers revealed which pie the chef/judges liked the best, and that person won the Judges’ Choice trophy.
In the photo above, the winners were: first place People’s Choice winner, Petunia Barlow (in blue); second place, Barbara James (in orange); third place, Nancy Wilson (in tan jacket); judges’ choice winner, Shirley Buchanan (holding trophy). The women are surrounded by fellow contestants and representatives of the museum and Delta Sigma Beta Theta, which partnered with the museum to coordinate the contest.
Buchanan appeared on WDBJ (Channel 7) Weekend Diner on Sunday. Click here to see her appearance and her sweet potato pie recipe. She gave it up! How generous is that?
Dean said Buchanan told her, “I am just so blessed to have had the opportunity to be recognized.”
“I love these ladies and it has been a joy working with them,” Dean said. “And I also want to put a plug in for the chefs who judged. They were wonderful and they had to take time from their busy schedules to help us.”
Those chefs are pictured and named right here. The Sweet Potato Pie Bake-Off was such a success that the museum will likely hold it again next year. So start perfecting those recipes!