Farmington Hills resident Joni Pitt's OMG Peach Crostata took top honors in the We’re Cookin’ in Michigan Recipe Contest, held this weekend at the Buy Michigan Now Festival in Northville.
The dish was baked with Michigan peaches and Michigan eggs, among other Michigan ingredients, and served with homemade peach ice cream.
Pitt found out about the recipe contest from the Hiller’s website, where she often visits to clip her electronic coupons before she shops.
“On a whim, I entered the contest,” said Pitt, founder of OMG! Sweet and Savory. “I’m proof that an amateur cook can win a cooking contest with a delicious recipe. This win gives me the confidence to enter another contest.”
While she is an unemployed marketing service professional, Pitt has several family members in the catering business. “In our family it is about elegance and being easy and always delicious. This is a rustic tasty dessert," she said.
The contest required that the recipe's primary ingredients had to be Michigan-grown, or that at least 75 percent of the total ingredients originated from Michigan.
In addition to a $250 Hiller’s Markets gift card, Pitt's grand-prize includes having her winning recipe sold at all seven Hiller’s locations for one month. Profits will benefit The Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund, which supports research within the University of Michigan's Depression Center.
The other three finalists were: 2nd place - Baked Apple French Toast Casserole by James Sholar of Canton; Michigan Lamb Chops with Sweet Cherry Sauce by Sally Sibthorpe of Shelby Township; and Blueberry Buttermilk Sherbert by Glenna Fritz of Brighton (who was not present at the competition). Sholar and Sibthorpe receive $100 Hiller's gift cards, and Fritz receives a $50 Hiller's gift card.
Hiller’s Chef Pete Julian led the three-member judge panel and narrowed down the original submissions to the final four.
“When I first saw the dessert, it looked great,” said Julian. “It not only had a nice presentation and looked homemade, but it tastes delicious and is something I would serve at home to my own guests.”
The final cook-off was held during the festival on Sunday, at Epiphany Kitchens in Northville.