South Surrey girls find sweet success

Strong-willed friends impress judges at cooking competition

A trio of South Surrey girls will be heading to a citywide cooking championship after their sweet – albeit messy – dessert wowed judges last month.

Martha Currie Elementary students Gabby Gomersall, 11, Ashley Dean, 12, and Ady Riggs, 11, won the South Surrey Chopped-themed competition May 2, which was one of six sub-competitions held throughout the city.

The ‘Blonde Cream Puffs’ competed against two other teams in South Surrey, and had to incorporate pineapple – the secret ingredient – into their dish.

As one might expect of a group of Grade 6 girls, the ingredient the trio used to win over judges was sugar.

Using ingredients provided to them, the girls sweetened the “so disgusting” unsweetened yogurt into a parfait, which featured caramelized pineapple, handmade whipped cream, shredded coconut and strawberries.

To plate their creation, they drizzled chocolate sauce on a plate and layered a bowl with caramelized pineapple, topping it with the parfait. They used the whipped cream to hide the unsightly bits of the dessert.

They called it a Pina Colada Yogurt.

Ady said the esthetics of the dish were “not that awesome,” but the flavours were there.

“We were a little messy in parts. There was some smudges with chocolate sauce. And we didn’t use whipped cream out of a bottle so we had to use a spoon. It was a plate full of whipped cream, basically, with a bowl. It looked OK,” she said.

The trio discussed their experience with Peace Arch News Wednesday, and exchanged friendly banter about their missteps and successes throughout the interview.

“I think we all wanted to be in charge,” Ashley said. “We all had different opinions of stuff.”

A point of contention for the group was whether or not to use the unsweetened yogurt.

“It tasted good. It just didn’t look that good,” Ady said.

“It looked like barf!” Gabby added.

“So that’s why we did the whipped cream, so we could cover it up,” Ady explained.

Another misstep, which ended up playing into their favour in the end, was the creation of the whipped cream.

“You put cream and you’re supposed to put icing sugar in it,” Gabby said, while glaring at Ady.

“I’m sorry!” Aby responded. “My dad adds vanilla, so that’s what I added.”

They all agreed that the caramelized pineapple, which they made with brown sugar and butter, was the star of the show.

“It was delicious,” Gabby said.

The creation impressed the judges, who did, however, offer one piece of constructive criticism to the group of friends.

“They said we could have worked better together,” Ashley laughed.

For winning the South Surrey competition, the girls received a whisk, a Starbucks gift card and a pair of sunglasses.

The trio entered the competition because they thought it would be a fun experience, they said.

“But I didn’t actually think we would do good,” Ashley said.

They intend to hone their skills over the summer months for the big competition this fall.

“I’m kind of nervous,” Ashley added.

“It’s a lot scarier because everyone has won the competition we went in,” Ady said. “They’re probably really good.”

The winners of each sub-competition will battle head-to-head at a city-wide event Sept. 22 at the South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre from 1-6 p.m.

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