Nilson, Marlow garner prizes in festival cooking competition

January 31, 2001|By DORA DEPAOLI, Staff Writer

HOLTVILLE — Nils Nilson of Holtville was the lone male entrant in Tuesday night's Carrot Festival cooking contests.

Nilson entered dishes in both the salad/vegetable division and the main dish category. He placed in both contests, taking first with his vegetable dish and second in the main dish division.

Nilson, a supervising cook at Centinela State Prison, won with "Roasted Holtville Carrots." He adapted his recipe from one he found in the San Diego Union-Tribune. His recipe contained 2 pounds of baby carrots, six cloves of garlic, four onions and various seasonings, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

He was surprised to win a prize with the dish, but thought he had a chance with his other entry, "Carrot Chicken Roulade," a much more time-consuming dish.


Shelly Osuna of Holtville, a teacher at Finley Elementary School in Holtville, took second place with "Carrot Asian Slaw On Noodles." The eye-appealing dish tasted as good as it looked. Osuna's recipe was adapted from one she saw in a "Pampered Chef" cookbook. She added extra carrots and made it for the first time for the contest. She was a sweepstakes finalist last year.

Mona Locher of El Centro garnered third place with "Sunshine Carrot Bake." The recipe is an updated version of one of her mother's recipes. Locher had a disappointment, however, in the main dish category. Her dish was disqualified because she forgot to list carrots in the ingredients. She felt she would have had a good chance of winning with the recipe.

"I even used buffalo meat," Locher said, "and it is very healthy."


Angela Marlow of Holtville won the main dish category with "Easy Cheesy Carrot Casserole." The original recipe came to her when she was lying in bed one day. The hearty dish called for three cups of carrots, broccoli, chicken breasts, bacon, olives, Mozzarella cheese, celery, red pepper and cheese/garlic flavored croutons, her secret weapon. She has been a finalist three times.

Nilson's "Carrot Chicken Roulade" looked like a lot of work. For most of the judges it was the first time a recipe called for carrot juice. He found the recipe in a Kellogg's cereal publication and there are 10 cups of crushed Corn Flakes in it. Originally the recipe called for the use of cranberries and Nilson improvised.

Sylvia Golby, a winter visitor from Cher Hill, Alberta, Canada, took third place with "California Sunshine." Golby's recipes are always unusual and seem to appeal to the judges. It is rare for her not to place when she enters a cooking contest. She and her husband, Johnny, have been visiting Holtville for the last 17 years. They are popular folks around town for all their help and participation during the Carrot Festival.

Tuesday night's judges were Chyrs Diez, Barbara Pfister, Shirley Hanson, Trish McLaughlin, Julie Martinez and Linda Britschgi. Prizes included ribbons, craft items from Danna Banana's Unique Crafts and rose crystal bowls for the winners. All first- and second-place finishers from the adult contests will prepare their dishes at the Holtville High School home economics room Friday night.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles