Culinary arts front and center at Cheesecake Sampler

Dozens of culinary creations, including cheesecakes and hors de oeuvres were featured at Friday night’s annual Lead Deadwood Arts Center Cheesecake Sampler & Battle of the Hors D’oeuvres. Pioneer photos by Jaci Conrad Pearson 

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DEADWOOD – Dozens of delicious, competition-worthy delicacies were on display and attendees dug in to those that beckoned to them, as the annual Lead Deadwood Arts Center Cheesecake Sampler & Battle of the Hors D’oeuvres served up several Friday evening at the Martin & Mason ballroom.

“Wow, I think that was our best one yet,” said Lead Deadwood Arts Center Executive Director Karen Everett. “Standing room only and some amazing entrees. Huge thanks to the Martin & Mason staff for the use of their beautiful ballroom and to the Deadwood Social Club for sponsoring the Linda Maxwell Cheesecake Diva $100 Award. A big thanks to all those who entered the amazing cheesecakes and hors d’oeuvres. This is a fun event to promote the culinary arts.”

Top honors for best overall cheesecake and a $100 cash prize, the Linda Maxwell Cheesecake Diva Award, went to Rhonda Schaffer for her Espresso creation. 

 This award is named for Linda Maxwell, who loved the “Cheesecake Sampler” and entered her creations for more than a decade. 

“She won so many times, she became known locally as the ‘Cheesecake Diva,’” Everett explained. “Sadly, Linda passed away in 2014 and the Cheesecake Sampler has never been the same. In honor of Linda, her family is now sponsoring the ‘Linda Maxwell Cheesecake Diva Award.’”

Judging was tough this year, as there were several varieties each of cheesecakes and hors de oeuvres. 

Other categories and corresponding winners are as follows.

Judges’ Choice

Cheesecakes Amateur, Taste: First - Rhonda Schaffer, Espresso; Second - Chad Hanna, Rocky Road

Cheesecakes Amateur, Presentation: First, Cathy Enderby, Tiramisu; Second, Kim Drake, White Chocolate Strawberry

Cheesecakes Pro, Taste: First – Sheila Graveman, Turtle Delight; Second – Jon Sexton, Linda Maxwell Original Recipe

Cheesecakes Pro, Presentation: First, Deadwood Mountain Grand, Belgian; Second, Deadwood Mountain Grand, Cheesecake Supreme

Hors D’oeuvres Amateur, Taste: First, Ron Everett, Smoked Salmon; Second, Sarah Canida, Sea Salted Crackers w/Goat Cheese & Fermented Caribbean Rum Chutney

Hors D’oeuvres Amateur, Presentation: First, Ron Everett, Smoked Salmon; Second, Sarah Canida, Sea Salted Cracker w/Goat Cheese and Fermented Caribbean Rum Chutney

Hors D’Oeuvres Pro, Taste: Burnouts Pizza Company, Man Candy

Hors D’Oeuvres Pro, Presentation: Burnouts Pizza Company, Man Candy

People’s Choice

Cheesecake: First -- Don Breitkerutz, Mexican Sopapilla; Second -- Cathy Enderby, Tiramisu. 

Hors D’Oeuvres: First -- Sarah Canida, Sea Salted Cracker w/Goat Cheese and Fermented Caribbean Rum Chutney; Second -- Rachael Baird, Curried Chicken Salad.

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