2011 Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off


I had a great time at the 2011 Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off in Portland, ME!


I stayed one night at the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa.  The hotel is in a great location, surrounded by lots of fun shops and restaurants.


The Cook-Off took place at the Ocean Gateway Terminal.  This is the view from the room where they cooked up their magic!



Look who was one of the judges at the Cook Off?  It’s Tom Pizzica, the host of the Food Network’s Outrageous Food!


It was great sharing this experience with my friend Kristi from Moms Own Words!


During the day, there were 3 judges. All recipes were original and included at least one Hood dairy product and were judged based on taste appeal, presentation/appearance, and creativity/originality.


Here are the 5 Cook-Off finalists and their recipes!



Breakfast/Brunch: Holly Campbell, New Boston, NH

Fruity Brickle Breakfast Biscuits Blintzes



Soups/Chowders: Mary Lou Dahle, Durham, ME

Creamy Fresh Tomato-Arugula Soup with Cheese and Basil Crostini



Appetizers/Side Dishes: Dan Rinaldi, Cranston, RI

Surf and Turf Sliders with Maine Lobster Sauce



Lunch/Dinner (Entrée): Jessie Grearson, Falmouth, ME,

Tandoori Express Chicken Naanwiches with Sour Cream Raita and Buttermilk Mango Lassi



Dessert: Marie Connor, Mystic, CT,

Mystic Magic Chocolate Tart



In the evening, Billy Costa (from the New England Cable News Show TV Diner) hosted the event as the 5 finalists went head-to-head in front of a live audience.



The final round judges were Celebrity Chef Tom Pizzica; Patti Woods, an award-winning journalist and food blogger; J. Desmond Keefe III CEC, CCE, Culinary Instructor, Southern New Hampshire University; Peter Zoltai, Sr. Director Research & Development, HP Hood; and Amy Traverso, Senior Lifestyle Editor from Yankee Magazine.


And the winner of the Cook-Off and $10,000 was Dan Rinaldi from Cranston, RI!


The Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off will air on December 19, 2011 on NECN.


*I’d like to thank Hood for inviting me to such a fun weekend!  My hotel accommodations were wonderful and the Hood Cook-Off was a blast!

Disclosure – Hood provided me with a free ticket and one night stay in Portland. I was not compensated for this post. The opinions in this post are 100% my own.


  1. 1

    Great post Jane. I like how you linked up the recipes. (Wish I thought to do that!) It was a great weekend. I hope we can attend more fun events like this!

  2. 2

    Jane - LOVE seeing all the great photos! I enjoyed reviewing the awesome recipes. How wonderful you were treated to this special time away. F.U.N!

Speak Your Mind