Meet the winners

Wielding knives, whisks and lots of carrots, their secret ingredient, members of the culinary teams from Riverview and Durant high schools dazzled the judges and cooked their hearts out recently for the first High School Iron Chef competition at the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in Brandon.

Travis Gentile, Ryan Allers and Martin Gendron of Riverview, in solid black, took the title by a close margin and walked away with the grand prize of $1,200 worth of merchandise for their school kitchen.

The chefs prepared a mouthwatering menu for attendees, which included: Tuna Tartare with Kimchi and Carrot Pesto; Steak with Risotto and Candied Carrots; Carrot Cake Pudding with Candied Carrot; Carrot Fritters; Shrimp with Carrot Ginger Sauce; Apple Carrot Cake Cupcakes.

Congratulations to all of the cheftestants on a job well done!


Verna's Heritage, a sweet calling for mother-daughter duo

The mother and daughter team of Shirley Almand and Wendy Ranny just began Verna's Heritage, a cottage industry business selling delicious raspberry bars, chewy cake, jams and other delectable goodies at the SouthShore Sunday Market in Ruskin.

Read about them and their decadent recipe for Strawberry Soup in this week's Table Scraps column on tbo.com.


Tea, scones AND cowboy hats

Destiny Church in Ruskin hosted 104 guests at its annual spring tea on Saturday. The day before I got a sneak peak at the delightful table settings for the event. Every one of them was a "wow!"